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Tuesday, 16 May, 2000, 13:26 GMT 14:26 UK
Suchoparek admits defeat over injury
Jan Suchoparek
No way back: Suchoparek has been overlooked
The Czech Republic will be without their defensive mastermind Jan Suchoparek for Euro 2000 after the veteran sweeper was forced to admit defeat in his fitness race.

The 30-year-old Sprata Prague star suffered a knee injury last month.

And as expected Czech coach Jozef Chovanec was left with no option but to leave Suchoparek out of his preliminary European Championship squad.

"He is not yet 100% fit," said Chovanec. "Now it is more important for him to recover and return to the field soon."

Chovanec said he had narrowed the pool of players for Euro 2000 down to 26, with no other surprise eliminations.

With just 22 players needed for the June 1 deadline, Chovanec still needs to exclude one goalkeeper, two midfielders and one striker.

The team will leave for a final pre-tournament training trip to Austria next Tuesday, before playing Germany on June 3 in their last test ahead of the championship.


Preliminary Czech squad:

Goalkeepers: Ladislav Maier (Rapid Vienna), Radek Cerny (Slavia Prague), Pavel Srnicek (Sheffield Wednesday), Jaroslav Blazek (Sparta Prague)

Defenders: Petr Gabriel, Milan Fukal, Jiri Novotny (all Sparta Prague), Karel Rada, Petr Vlcek (both Slavia Prague), Tomas Repka (Fiorentina)

Midfielders: Radek Bejbl (Atletico Madrid), Patrik Berger (Liverpool), Pavel Horvath, Ivo Ulich (both Slavia Prague), Radomir Latal, Jiri Nemec (both Schalke 04), Pavel Nedved (Lazio), Karel Poborsky (Benfica), Miroslav Baranek, Tomas Rosicky (both Sparta Prague)

Strikers: Jan Koller (Anderlecht), Pavel Kuka (VfB Stuttgart), Vladimir Smicer (Liverpool), Rene Wagner (Rapid Vienna), Vratislav Lokvenc (Sparta Prague), Pavel Verbir (Teplice)

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See also:

15 May 00 | Czech Rep
Novotny handed defensive role
14 May 00 | Squad
Jan Suchoparek
14 May 00 | Czech Rep
Czech form guide
14 May 00 | Squad
Jozef Chovanec
14 May 00 | Euro2000
Beware derailed Euro stars
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