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Slavia invite doctors to Rangers game to correct VIP gaffe


Prague (AFP) – Slavia Prague said Tuesday they had invited medical staff working in the battle against Covid-19 to watch Thursday’s Europa League clash against Glasgow Rangers, making up for a gaffe from their game against Leicester.

On February 18,  despite Covid-19 restrictions, Slavia were allowed to invite 600 people to watch their previous Europa League home game against Leicester.

But the club came under fire when a sports daily published a photo of the VIP stands with prominent guests including Vladimir Mynar the head of the national president’s office, and two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, both Slavia fans.

The VIP fans also included former health minister Roman Prymula, an epidemiologist, who had called for stricter restrictions earlier on the day of the match.

His presence with his son angered Czechs regardless of their football affiliation.

The Czech Republic has topped the world’s statistics for new Covid-19 infections per capita for weeks, according to an AFP tally based on official data.

Its hospitals have been at the limit of their capacity for months, and people are increasingly scratching their heads over government restrictions, many of which have been in place since last autumn.

Critics said medical staff deserved a place in the Slavia stands more than the VIPs and Slavia were quick to respond.

“Slavia Prague would like to invite guests including doctors, medical staff and employees of Czech health facilities to the Europa League last-16 game” against the Rangers, Slavia boss Jaroslav Tvrdik said in a tweet.

“Thank you for saving our lives,” added Tvrdik, whose club reached the last-16 phase of the Europa League after stunning Leicester with a 2-0 win at the King Power Stadium, following a goalless draw at Slavia.

Slavia, the reigning Czech champions owned by Chinese developer Sinobo Group, lead the Czech top flight with a 14-point cushion.

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