Chelsea keeper Cech in Czech Republic row
Just 10 days after the Czech Republic failed to progress to the second round at the European Championship, a bitter dispute has erupted between goalkeeper Petr Cech and a top Czech football official.
Cech lashed out at federation deputy head Vlastimil Kostal after he blamed the goalkeeper in Tuesday's editions of daily newspaper Sport for the team's 3-2 loss to Turkey on June 15 in Geneva that left it in third place in Group A.
"It is necessary to unequivocally say that (Cech) is responsible for the loss to Turkey,'' said Kostal, who resigned as team manager after the defeat.
Cech had previously accepted the blame for his mistake and reiterated Wednesday that he "will never deny'' that. But he said Kostal's public criticism had shown he wasn't a team player.
"It feels bad that some people in the Czech football leadership are not team players. Especially in bad times, they don't stand by the team and fail to support it, ''Cech said Wednesday. "It looks like they turned their back on us only to avoid responsibility. Personally, that's a big disappointment for me.''
Kostal had said he didn't feel a direct responsibility for the team's failure at Euro 2008 because it wasn't him who fumbled the ball.
"From many of his words in the interview, I came to a conclusion that during all the years (Kostal) was the only member of the team that kept winning and never lost, ''Cech said.
Cech said he had received encouragement from all his teammates after the match.
"Their immediate response clearly showed that we really formed one team at Euro,'' Cech said. "Those who ever experience a blunder like that know how difficult it is to go through.''