Romani football team removed from competition in the Czech Republic
The Romani football club FC Děčín will not be competing next season. On Thursday the Sports and Technical Commission (Sportovně-technická komise - STK) of the district union did not include the team in class III, allegedly because of unpaid debts. News server iDNES.cz broke the story yesterday.
The decision was made just before lots were drawn for the starting lineup. FC Děčín was listed as competing, but a few minutes before the meeting began, the commission removed the team from the list. The club had failed to respect an STK ultimatum to pay a debt of CZK 6 995 and make its starting deposit.
"They can't exclude us, we've committed no crime. We proposed a payment schedule to them, we don't have the money now. We'll appeal as high as we can go until they let us play," said Ladislav Čisár, head of FC Děčín, prior to the lottery.
The club has lived through a dramatic period in recent months. One of its matches ended with a wholesale brawl in which police had to intervene. As a result, the union suspended the Romani team from three matches, fined them CZK 28 000, deducted nine points from their overall score and banned two of their aggressive players from play for three and two years respectively. The Romani footballers claim the incident was provoked by their opponents and that they are often the target of racist insults during play.
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