Czechs fire Rada and expel six players

PRAGUE - The Czech FA sacked national team coach Petr Rada on Wednesday after a string of poor results and also expelled six players for a breach of discipline after the World Cup qualifying loss at home to Slovakia last week. The FA said it had banned forwards Milan Baros, Martin Fenin and Vaclav Sverkos plus midfielders Radoslav Kovac and Marek Matejovsky and defender Tomas Ujfalusi from the national team indefinitely. Rada last year replaced Karel Brueckner, who led Czech Republic to the Euro 2004 semi-finals. "The reasons for the dismissal were unsatisfactory results in the last two matches and the team performance in those matches," FA Chairman Pavel Mokry told a news conference. The Czechs lost 2-1 to Slovakia on April 1, their first loss to their neighbours since 1997. The result seriously dented their chances of reaching the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa. Before that, they drew away with Slovenia. They are fourth in World Cup qualifying Group Three with eight points from six matches, trailing leaders Northern Ireland by five points with a game in hand. The FA said the six players were banned for poor discipline, after media reports of a big party after the Slovakia game, the second time players had been caught drinking until the early hours. "(The reason was) that this was repeated," Mokry said. "The players have in their contracts how they should behave in public. "We were discussing whether to set the punishment until a certain date, or as an unlimited one. In the end, it is unlimited," said Mokry. Matejovsky told news agency CTK: "Of course I feel very sorry about this. I had always been very happy to represent (my country) and played for the national team and tried to deliver maximum performance. I had never had problems like this." The FA did not appoint a new coach, saying that decision would be up to the new FA leadership which will be elected at a June 27 general meeting. The new leadership could also alter the players' ban.