Monday, September 12, 2011

Start of Extraliga season pushed back to Sunday

This coming Friday was supposed to be the start of the 2011-12 season for the Czech Extraliga. However, because that day coincides with the funeral of Jan Marek, one of the players killed in last Wednesday's Yaroslavl airline tragedy, the league has now announced that Sunday will be the new starting day.

The change was hinted at on Friday, the same day the three players, Marek, Karel Rachůnek and Josef Vašiček, layed in state at Prague's Old Town Square. At that ceremony, APK President Stanislav Šulc said, "We have been informed that Jan Marek's funeral will be held on Friday. I spoke with some of the clubs on the weekend about the possibility of moving the first round of games, and then we received the same request from Jan's family."

All three players will have their funerals in their home towns on consecutive days this week. Rachůnek's will be in Zlín on Wednesday, Vašiček's in Havlíčkův Brod on Thursday, and Marek's in Jindřichův Hradec on Friday. 

After unanimous approval from the league's 14 clubs, the full slate of games Friday was postponed. The only thing to be agreed upon now is when they will be made up. "On the schedule we have some open Tuesdays," said Šulc. "It will come down to whatever works best for the two clubs involved."

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