Saturday, September 17, 2011

When Prostějov hosted Europe - 1999 European U16 Championships

The state of football in Prostějov right now is in the midst of chaos. I suppose that is the best way to explain it. A 4th division club which calls itself FK Prostějov formed the week their division was scheduled to start this year. SK Prostějov which is the parent club of FK Prostějov, but they play in the 9th division. I see them as the real club if the city and not this FK Prostějov. SK has a long history, and should always remain the in the minds of football supporters in the city. Then there is Haná Prostějov, the club which I support. They formed in 1931, and currently play in the 7th division, which is the highest level the club has ever playd in their history.

All this, without really a proper stadium for football. Yes, there is the Sport Centrum, but it isn't the best for senior teams. Just down the road, the old SK Prostějov home sits, awaiting its fate. Weeds are growing in the old tribunes, cement is cracking, the wooden seats are falling apart. It is tough to see such an old historical stadium which is largely being

ignored. I'm sure the city would love to demolish it and build a supermarket or a parking lot. Right now it is being used for youth training, but even that is a stretch. How did this all happen? What happened to football in this city?

A little over 10 years ago, Prostějov hosted three games in the 1999 U16 European Championships. Other cities to host matches were, Blansko, Vranovice, Třebíč, Jihlava, Drnovice, Staré Město, Slušovice, Zlín, Kunovice, Moravská Třebová, Uničov, Olomouc, Šardice, Lanžhot, Kyjov, and Ratíškovice. An astounding 16 cities, and towns hosted matches. However, we will focus on the matches played in Prostějov,

As I mentioned earlier, the city hosted three games. The first was April 26, 1999 when Croatia played Poland to a 1-1 draw. About a week later, a quarter final was played here between Spain and Israel. The Spanish side ran away with a 6-1 victory. Six days later, Prostějov hosted the 3rd place match between the Czech Republic and Germany, a game which saw the Germans win 2-1.
(thanks to BBPV for sending in the picture)

Mikel Artera, who currently plays for Arsenal, played for Spain during the championships. Another big name that played in Prostějov was Darijo Srna of Croatia who has 83 caps and 19 goals to his name. Or Albert Crusat, from Spain, who currently plays for Wigan.

When will Prostějov ever get a chance to host possible future football stars again? With the current state of things in this city, I can't see it happening any time soon. Yes, there is a pitch that could see a Czech youth side play, but is that really realistic?

It is sad to think just how quickly things have changed. Only 10 years ago, a young Srna and Artera were stepping on the pitch of SK Prostějov. Now what do we have? FK Prostějov buying their way into the 4th division? What a laugh that is.

Let us not forget to support the real football clubs in this city, Haná Prostějov and SK Prostějov. It is only then, that football can take its place where it belongs in the city. At the top!

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