Sparta Prague players said female Referee “belonged in kitchen”
6th October 2016

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Sparta Prague have sent two players, Lukas Vacha and Tomas Koubek, to train with the women’s team after they told a female assistant referee to stay in the kitchen.

Both players were condemned by the Czech FA chairman and their club appointed them as ambassadors of the women’s team following the comments they made against the assistant referee Lucie Ratajova last weekend.

Ratajova failed to notice a clear offside as Sparta lost a 3-2 lead in the 92nd minute against Zbrojovka Brno following a goal by Alois Hycka on Sunday.

After the game Vacha tweeted the assistant referee’s photo with a caption reading “To the cooker” while the goalkeeper Tomas Koubek told the media after the game: “In my opinion, women should stay at the stove and not officiate men’s football.”

Both players have since issued apologies but the Czech FA chairman, Miroslav Pelta, said their statements immediately after the match “are totally unacceptable”. Pelta said:

I would like to emphasise that women are and will be an important part of football and their presence in its structures and at the stands is important for football.

“Football belongs to the wide public including families and women. We are trying to accommodate them and such statements are totally unacceptable. It will certainly be a topic at the next FA executive board meeting and I expect the disciplinary committee to react to it in a corresponding way.”

Sparta has warned both players that “some boundaries” cannot be crossed in statements and the club have appointed the pair as ambassadors to the women’s team to see “that the women can be skillful somewhere else than at the stove”.

In a club statement Adam Kotalik, the Sparta general director, said:

As much as I understand that the boys were full of emotions after the finish of yesterday’s game, there are some boundaries that they can not cross in their statements.

“As well as serving as ambassadors of the team at the Uefa Women’s Champions League games they will both report to the boss of Sparta women’s teams Dusan Zovinec and will take part at some of the training sessions with one of our women’s team to see with their own eyes that the women can be skilful somewhere else than at the stove, too.”

On Monday Vacha and Koubek both apologised on their Facebook accounts, saying their post-match statements were aimed specifically at Ratajova’s error.

Ratajova was handed a four-game suspension on Tuesday for two errors in the Brno-Sparta match. She also failed to flag for an offside before a Sparta goal earlier in the game.

Source: Guardian

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