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West Ham partygoer Coufal snubbed for Czech friendlies

Czech Republic coach Ivan Hasek has left West Ham defender Vladimir Coufal out of the squad for upcoming Euro 2024 friendlies following a night on the town last year.

Coufal, Aris Thessaloniki defender Jakub Brabec and Sparta Prague striker Jan Kuchta were caught in a night club ahead of a Euro 2024 qualifying decider against Moldova in November.

They were sent packing at once as the Czechs went on to clinch a spot at the tournament in Germany with a second-place finish behind Albania in Group E.

Hasek on Friday snubbed all three players for friendlies in Norway on March 22 and against Armenia in Prague four days later.

“Of course it was a tough decision,” said Hasek, who took the team over in January.

His predecessor Jaroslav Silhavy resigned after the last qualifier, also citing disappointment with the three partygoers and a lack of trust in the team.

“It will be most beneficial for the team if the players are left out for now,” Hasek said, adding he would talk to all three before Euro 2024.

“Of course this doesn’t close the door to Euro for any one of them. The guys know it’s good for the team, none of them has taken offence,” Hasek added.

The 23-man Czech Republic squad for Norway and Armenia comprises 10 players born in 2000 or later, including five newcomers.

Hasek has also called up Leverkusen striker Patrik Schick, who is returning after a prolonged injury. and Fiorentina midfielder Antonin Barak, snubbed by Silhavy over an alleged negative influence on the team.

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