Czech Republic manager Jaroslav Silhavy shockingly quit his role just minutes after qualifying for Euro 2024.
Czechia, as they are now referred to by UEFA, cruised to a 3-0 victory over Moldova in Prague on Monday. But there was drama in the background before the game as Silhavy sent home West Ham’s Vladimir Coufal, defender Jakub Brabec and forward Jan Kuchta after they were spotted in a nightclub on Saturday.
The 62-year-old head coach, who was in charge for over five years, had received plenty of criticism throughout the qualification process. His side had struggled to dismantle weaker opposition and failed to play attractive football, leading the ex-Slavia Prague boss to drop a huge bombshell post-match.
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Silhavy said: "Even though we are happy now, we had already decided before the game not to continue. I informed the president [of the Czech Republic football association] Petr Fouska about it.
“The pressure was already enormous – sometimes I didn't even understand it. This also contributed to our decision."
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The 62-year-old later added: "It's not just about me, but I have the entire implementation team behind me. I am convinced that we have done the job and we are leaving behind good results."
Czech Republic finished as runners-up in Group E. They were second to Albania only through goal difference and managed to finish above a Robert Lewandowski-led Poland.
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Silhavy took charge in September 2018 and impressively led his nation to the quarter-finals of Euro 2020 almost three years later. They progressed despite being in a group that included England, Scotland and 2018 World Cup finalists Croatia.
His side needed just a draw to seal Euro 2024 qualification against Moldova, and there was plenty of relief around the stadium when David Doudera opened the scoring 16 minutes in. Tomas Chory and captain Tomas Soucek both also netted late on to land Czechia a place in Pot 4 ahead of next Saturday’s group stage draw.
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