Illustrative photo – 9th round of the first football league: Viktoria Plzeň – Slavia Prague, September 18, 2022 Pilsen. The game had to be stopped for several minutes due to smoke from fans' pyrotechnics.
Prague – Football clubs Slavia Prague and Viktoria Plzeň agreed before Saturday's 23rd round of the first league match that they do not want the match to be accompanied by excesses and such hatred as in the last mutual duel in Eden in the extension part of the last season. The clubs are preparing several joint events ahead of the closely watched direct battle for first place in the table, for example, the captains of both teams met today, Tomáš Holeš from Slavia and Lukáš Hejda from Pilsen.
Lately, mutual duels have been accompanied by a very hateful atmosphere, and the highlight was last May's match of the extension part, in which Plzeň went on to win the title after a 1:1 draw in Eden. The people of Prague were fined 300,000 crowns for several incidents, including fans throwing objects onto the pitch, and the disciplinary committee conditionally closed part of the auditorium. The head of the West Bohemian club Adolf Šádek also behaved inappropriately.
“Our last home match with Viktoria Plzeň was one of the worst I have experienced. The way everyone in the stadium treated each other, without exception, does not belong in football . Last 90 minutes chanted against the opponent. I was really ashamed, this is not how I imagine football,” said the chairman of the board of Slavia Jaroslav Tvrdík at a meeting with journalists.
“That's why we agreed with Pilsen on this joint project. We agreed that everyone would be involved – club owners, captains, coaches. I would very much like the match to be a fight for blood on the field, but for everything to be in within the framework of fair play. I believe that everyone, the referee, will handle the match. Let's joke, but hatred simply does not belong in football,” added Tvrdík.
Before the match, together with Šádek, he will head to the Motol hospital and support the organization Donor, which helps with children's transplants. Each of the clubs donates 100 thousand crowns. They will sit next to each other in the VIP box during the match. Slavia also decided to remove the fence in front of the sector for away fans. Both clubs appeal to their supporters to refrain from swearing at their opponents.
“It is very sad for me when Mr. Šádek tells me that today the fans no longer want to come to us. That the level of hatred is such , that they pour beer on each other, throw bottles. That's an indicator that you need to say 'enough'. When I look at the history of derbies for example, there were big battles on the pitches, players left with broken legs, but then maybe they went together for beer,” Tvrdík said. “I'm not so naive that everything will change overnight, but it's a first step,” he added.
“The last match was a lot of hype, it was already over the line. such situations will not happen again. Let it be within limits in the audience. Nobody wants cups or other things to be thrown on the field. I believe that it will be a battle only on the field,” said Hejda.
The match kick-off on Saturday at 18:00, Slavia leads the table by a point ahead of the champions Pilsen.