Czech leaders Teplice hit by swine flu

PRAGUE - Czech league leaders Teplice have been hit by illness, including the H1N1 flu virus, and have asked for Sunday's first division match against Viktoria Plzen to be postponed, a club spokesman said on Thursday.

Eighteen of the 24 first-team squad are ill, with at least five suffering from H1N1 flu, added spokesman Petr Heidenreich.

Teplice, who are top with 32 points from 15 matches, had already asked for last Monday's match against Olomouc to be postponed but the Czech FA declined the request.

Teplice fielded a mostly reserve team and lost 6-2.

"We have asked for a postponement (again)," Heidenreich said. "This time the situation is different because the district hygiene officer ordered monitoring of the team."

The Czech Health Ministry has reported that eight Czechs have died from H1N1 flu. The government started a vaccination campaign this week to cover the most exposed 10 percent of the central European country's 10.5 million people.