Czech Republic call off football match with Scotland – but haven’t told them

The Czech Republic’s national football team have said they will not play in a Nations League game against Scotland on Monday – without telling the opposition.

The team made the surprise announcement on Friday, shortly after beating neighbours Slovakia in the same competition.

A statement on the Czech Republic’s football association website said: “The national team will not play against Scotland on Monday due to representatives [sic] decision and the current situation with the COVID-19.”

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - SEPTEMBER 04: Ryan Christie of Scotland celebrates after scoring from the penalty spot during the UEFA Nations League group stage match between Scotland and Israel at Hampden Park National Stadium on September 04, 2020 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Image: Scotland say it did not receive official confirmation of the cancelled game

However, the team had not spoken to the Scottish FA (SFA) before their statement, taking the team by surprise.

An SFA spokesperson said: “We are aware of reports that the Football Association of the Czech Republic have taken the decision not to play Monday’s game.

“We have not received any official notification from the Football Association of the Czech Republic to that effect but have contacted UEFA for confirmation on the status of the match.

“We will update further when we receive clarification.”

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The Czech team had already been affected by COVID-19 after midfielder Tomas Soucek and striker Patrik Schick had to self-isolate after coming into contact with a staff member who had tested positive for coronavirus.

It meant the squad’s journey to Slovakia was delayed by 24 hours so the team could be retested.

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The decision by the Czech Republic to call off the game could cost them points.

UEFA announced last week that games should go ahead if teams had at least 13 players available, regardless of the pandemic.

Only in instances where the team cannot provide 13 players will a game be rescheduled.

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The body added: “The national association that is responsible for the match not taking place or not being played in full will be declared to have forfeited the match by the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body unless the latter comes to the conclusion that both or none of the teams is/are responsible for the match not taking place or not being played in full, meaning the match cannot be declared as forfeited.

“If the match cannot be declared as forfeited, the outcome of the match will be decided by drawing of lots (i.e. win 1-0, loss 0-1 or draw 0-0) carried out by the UEFA administration.”