Czech Republic Football Stadiums

czech flag with footballControlled by the Fotbalová asociace České republiky, football is the most popular sport that is played in the Czech Republic. Bohemia was quick to adapt the sport, doing so at some point around 1890 when the country was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Indeed, the first game in the country that is now known as the Czech Republic took place in 1887 in Roudnice nad Labem.

The Czech Republic Football Federation was formed in 1901, which came five years after the first derby between SK Slavia Prague and AC Sparta Prague took place. 1896 was also the first year that a Czech championship took place. It wasn’t until 1925 that the Czechoslovak First League was formed, remaining the number one league of the country until 1993.

That was when the Czech Republic and Slovakia were essentially the same country, playing football under the national title of ‘Czechoslovakia’. The Czech Republic played its first official game in 1994, with Czechoslovakia having previously won the European Championship in 1976 when Antonin Panenka scored a now famous penalty against Germany in the final.

As well as being popular with male players, football is also a popular sport for women in the Czech Republic and the women’s team got its debut in 1993. Whilst the Czech Republic’s national team has yet to compete in the knockout part of either the Women’s European Championship or the Women’s World Cup, it remains popular for women to play football in the country.

Here we’ll have a look at the country’s past association with the sport, how the league system works and, firstly, the sort of stadiums you can expect to see if you go to watch football in the Czech Republic.

Czech Republic Stadiums

Sinobo Stadium Slavia Prague
Chmee2 and Valtameri [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

There are four main divisions for football in the Czech Republic, with the Czech First League being the top-tier. The largest stadiums in the country unquestionably belong to Olympia Prague, Slavia Prague and Sparta Prague, with enough room for around 20,000 spectators in each.

The average capacity for most other stadiums in the Czech Republic comes in at less than 5,000, however, so it’s fair to say that the grounds in the country aren’t exactly the most spectacular that you’ve ever seen. The top teams have larger grounds, but none of them come close to the sort of capacities that you can expect to find in football grounds in most of the main European top divisions.

In terms of the style of the different stadiums, most follow the typically English design of having four separate stands, with each one being on each side of the pitch. Some of them do some interesting things with the design of the stands themselves, but mostly they follow the same sort of look that you might expect to come across if you were watching a game in League One or League Two.

Czech Republic Leagues

First League Czech Republic

There are ten tiers within the Czech Republic’s football league system, with hundreds of leagues at play within that. The First League has a series of promotion and relegation in play with the Czech 2. Liga below it, which itself operates a similar situation with the tier it sits above.

At the time of writing, two clubs drop out of the First League at the end of the season and are replaced by two teams from the Czech 2. Liga, whilst one club is promoted from both the Bohemian Football League and the Moravian–Silesian Football League, which occupy the third tier of football in the country.

16 teams ply their trade in the top-tier, with the same number taking part in the Czech 2. Liga. The Bohemian Football League and the Moravian–Silesian Football League have 18 teams in each, whist the leagues further down the system have a differing number of clubs in them and are located in different parts of the country.

Czech Republic National Team

Czech Republic National Team

As mentioned in the introduction, the Czech Republic’s national team has a complicated history. It was officially founded in 1901 and played under the names of Bohemia, Austria-Hungary and Czechoslovakia until the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1993. Since then the team has competed under its current title of the Czech Republic, with the country’s first competition as the newly named nation being the European Championship in 1996.

Antonin Panenka

The breaking up of Czechoslovakia resulted in the formation of the Czech Republic and Slovakia, with both then competing separately to appear in all of the major tournaments. The Czech Republic impressed during their first major tournament, making it to the final of Euro ’96 before losing out to Germany. During the qualification period of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, the Czech Republic notched up its largest ever victory when the team beat Andorra 8-1. The country’s biggest ever defeat came in 2019 when they lost 5-0 to England.

The matchup between Germany and the Czech Republic is a famous one dripping in competitiveness, not just because the country used to be part of the Austro-Hungarian empire and all of the political connections linked to that. In 1976 the teams met in the final of the European Championship, which was being held in Yugoslavia that year.

The teams fought out a competitive 2-2 draw at the end of extra-time, taking it to penalties. Czechoslovakia eventually won thanks to a chipped penalty by Antonin Panenka that went down in history.

Key Stats

Czech Republic National Team Statistics
Year Formed 1901
Home Stadium No Designated Home Stadium
Stadium Capacity N/A
Major Honours European Championships (1976)
Current Manager Jaroslav Šilhavý
Top Scorer Jan Koller
Most Caps Petr Čech
Best Performance at World Cup Runners-up (1934 and 1962)
Best Performance at European Championships Winners (1976)
Kit Colours Red & Blue (Home), White with Blue (Away)

History Of Football In The Czech Republic

football painted in czech flag colours

When the country of Cech Republic was known as Bohemia and was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, football was quickly adopted as a sport for entertainment and exercise. The majority of players in the more formative years were German and Regatta Prag was the best team at the time. There is an islet located in the Labe River, which can be found in the town of Roudnice nad Labem. This is where the first ever football match took place in the country in 1887.

1896 was an important year for Czech football, being both the first time that the derby between SK Slavia Prague and AC Sparta Prague took place as well as being the year that the first league was formed. It was split over two seasons, with the spring campaign being won by CFK Kickers Prague and the autumn one won by Deutscher FC Prag. Other leagues and competitions followed, including the Czechoslovak First League. This was the top-flight in the country from 1925 until its dissolution in 1993.