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They Told A Female Ref To "Stay In The Kitchen". Their Punishment Fit Perfectly

Sparta Prague found themselves in the headlines for all the wrong reasons last weekend. Following a match between Sparta and Zbrojovka Brno, a match Sparta lost in acrimonious circumstances, two players for the Prague based club responded by making sexist comments towards assistant referee Lucie Ratajova.

Lukas Vacha, a midfielder, took to Twitter to post a photo of the female assistant along with a caption reading “To the cooker”. Tomas Koubek, Sparta’s goalkeeper, told the media after the match: “In my opinion, women should stay at the stove and not officiate men’s football.”

While the players apologized, the Czech Football Association was rightly appalled by their statements. “Football belongs to the wide public including families and women. We are trying to accommodate them and such statements are totally unacceptable,” said Czech FA chairman Miroslav Pelta.

The players’ apologies weren’t exactly eloquent. Vacha wrote on his Facebook page: “…The comment was aimed at the specific error that influenced the result of the game, not any other women. If any of them feel offended by it, I would like to make myself clear that it was not meant in a chauvinistic way at all.” 

Koubek’s apology was similar: “It was not meant in a chauvinistic way, the words were aimed at a specific person and a specific situation that occurred during the game.” Bearing in mind that Koubek said, “women should stay at the stove”, it’s difficult to absolve him for some sort of misunderstanding.


While the Czech FA made it clear that the players had crossed the line, their club went ahead and gave them the best form of punishment imaginable. 

“As much as I understand that the boys were full of emotions after the finish of yesterday’s game,” said Sparta general director Adam Kotalik, “there are some boundaries that they can not cross in their statements.”

Accordingly, Koubek and Vacha have been made to serve as ambassadors of the women's team at the UEFA Women’s Champions League games, they’ll report to the boss of Sparta women’s teams Dusan Zovinec and they’ll train with the women’s team to “to see with their own eyes that the women can be skillful somewhere else than at the stove, too.”

It’s unfortunate that Koubek and Vacha haven’t been made to prepare team meals for the rest of their careers or perform the duty of linesman at women's matches for the rest of the season, but this is a good response from Sparta Prague.

(H/T: The Guardian)

Follow me on Twitter: @ConmanFleming

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