Monday, December 19, 2011

Despite mourning, games will go ahead

Martin Ručinský presenting then-President Havel with a Czech
hockey jersey after winning Olympic gold in 1998. Photo: ČTK.
The show must go on.

That's the decision that was made by the Association of Professional Clubs (APK), regarding the postponement of Extraliga games that fall within the three days of official mourning for the death of ex-President Václav Havel.

"The report of a three-day period of mourning came before the conclusion of our meeting," said APK member Ladislav Blažek. "We had a chance to decide whether we would or wouldn't, and we decided that we'll play."

A moment of silence will precede all six of Tuesday's games, plus Wednesday's game between Karlovy Vary and Vítkovice. 

Also scheduled to take place this week is a series of international youth exhibition games between the Czech Republic and Russia. Unless the Czech Ice Hockey Association chooses to adjust the schedule in observation of the national mourning period, the national U18 teams of both countries will meet in Písek on Tuesday and in Přibram on Wednesday. The two nations' U16 teams are scheduled to play Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in Roudnice nad Labem, Slaný and Litoměřice.

"The Czech Ice Hockey Association will join the commemoration of President Havel. The association's leadership will decide the exact form that will take on Tuesday morning," said ČSLH spokesman Zdeněk Zikmund.

Also discussed at the APK meeting was the issue of "closing" the Extraliga, which would eliminate promotion from and relegation to the First National League. Nothing was agreed upon, other than to continue discussions at the next meeting.

"The clubs have expressed their consent to further negotiations on the closure of the Extraliga, starting with the 2012-13 season," said Blažek. "Another meeting will take place. The manner of closure, and deciding whether to play with 14 clubs or if we will expand."

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