HOMEPAGE

Business

 

New evidence emerges in sports subsidy scandal embroiling Czech football

 
photo:  (radio.cz)
 

Fresh evidence has emerged in a sports subsidy scandal over which former Czech Football Association chairman Miroslav Pelta is facing criminal prosecution, alongside a widening array of alleged accomplices, including association, club, and former education ministry officials.

 

Czech Radio’s flagship news station Radiožurnal has uncovered potentially damning documents from 2015, the year in which the suspect subsidies in question were distributed. They show the lion’s share of 100 million crowns which should have gone to children’s sports clubs and facilities, went to a handful of other entities.

The internal Czech Football Association documents show the biggest single amounted awarded went to groups close to former association head Miroslav Pelta; his powerful deputy chairman, Roman Berbr, current head of the Pilsen regional football union; and to the home team of former minister of education Marcel Chládek.

The latter case, not been previously reported on, concerns Nove Strašecí, one of 80 fourth division clubs. Somehow, they were allocated a subsidy of 1 million when 75 clubs got nothing at all, and four received subsidies amounting to tens of thousands of crowns.

So why was Nove Strašecí the only one to be awarded such a large subsidy? Former club head Vladimír Kozel told Radiožurnal he cannot recall any details.

“I don’t know. I have absolutely no idea. Someone must have filed an application for a subsidy because they gave it to us. But I really can’t say. It’s great that we got it. But to say someone influenced the process – certainly not.”

Although Nove Strašecí had no youth project, they got money from a subsidy programme aimed at promoting children’s sport. But Mr. Kozel rejected any suggestions of favouritism, though the club chairman was an assistant to Marcel Chládek, the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports – who oversaw subsidies.

“No, he didn’t influence any decisions. He went to observe the process. But he didn’t influence anything. At least I don’t think so. Maybe I’m naïve. But that’s how it was.”

Mr Kozel also couldn’t say how three first division players came to join Nove Strašecí that year, saving the team from relegation to a regional division.

But current club chairman Martin Hrbek notes that the former education minister built a home in Nove Strašecí, where has lived since being pushed out of office in 2015 allegedly for routinely bullying subordinates.

“Marcel Chládek had big plans for the town. He wanted Nove Strašecí to advance to a higher division. He wanted to build sports facilities for children, a new football pitch and so on. He also tried to help us secure sponsors.”

Police are expanding their investigation into the subsidy scandal. They allege Mr. Pelta supplied a free Prague apartment to a deputy minister of education with whom he agreed to divvy up spoils from the subsidies programme. According to Radiožurnal, new evidence shows clubs owned by him and Roman Berbr each got millions in subsidies under dubious circumstances.

 
 
Author: Český rozhlas Radio Praha
 
Added: 28.01.2019
 
 
 

Related articles

 
Business
 
 

Shoppers increasingly turning to...

The Czech Ministry of Agriculture has just released data which shows the organic food market grew at an...

 
 
Business
 
 

Press: Government eyes far higher tax...

The Czech government aims to obtain much more revenue in taxation from the likes of Google and Facebook...

 
 
Business
 
 

Aktuálně: Bosses weary of firing...

Historically low unemployment rates are having unusual side effects on the way companies treat their...

 
 
Business
 
 

Record amount of Czech households...

Nearly a third of Czech households saw their financial wealth grow last year, a study published by GfK...

 
Most favourite

History of Czech fine art

What happened in the realm of fine art at the very beginning of the Czech…

Climate

The Czech Republic is a landlocked country located in moderate geographical…

The most significant current discoveries

During the last decade, Czech science has made many revolutionary discoveries…

Czech language

The Czech language belongs to the group of West Slavic languages. From another…