AFP - Czech football was left reeling on Wednesday after the sacking not only of under-performing coach Petr Rada but also six senior players for allegedly cavorting with prostitutes after a World Cup qualifier last week.
Photographs of the players in company with several girls were published in two Czech tabloids after the Czech Republic's 2-1 home loss to Slovakia on April 1.
The scandal added to an upset caused by a lacklustre 0-0 away draw with Slovenia and the loss to the Slovaks, after which Rada fell out of favour with both media and fans.
The association, which fired the entire national team management, has not named a replacement for the 50-year-old Rada, who has won only two out of eight games since replacing Karel Bruckner after Euro 2008.
It said it might know more after the next meeting on April 28.
The sacked players are Atletico Madrid defender Tomas Ujfalusi, Galatasaray striker Milan Baros, West Ham defender Radoslav Kovac, Frankfurt striker Martin Fenin, Reading midfielder Marek Matejovsky and Sochaux striker Vaclav Sverkos.
The decision does not necessarily mean a lifetime ban for the players -- it will be up to the new coach to decide on their nomination in the future, the association said.
But Ujfalusi, who replaced injured Arsenal midfielder Tomas Rosicky as the Czech Republic captain, is unlikely to reappear after he said late on Tuesday he would end his international career over the scandal.
The 31-year-old said in a statement from his agent on the CTK news agency: "I give up playing for the national team based on the current situation in the Czech Football Association and in Czech media.
"It is the result of the situation after the latest qualifying matches," said Ujfalusi, who scored two goals in 78 matches for the national team and appeared at the 2004 and 2008 European championships and at the 2006 World Cup.
Last week's loss to Slovakia all but doused Czech hopes of topping Group Three of the 2010 World Cup qualification.
The team, fourth in its group and trailing leaders Northern Ireland by five points and Slovakia by four, is next facing Slovakia in Bratislava on September 5 in the qualification.
Early into the association meeting on Wednesday, former Manchester United, Benfica and Lazio winger Karel Poborsky stepped down as the team's technical director.
He told journalists he was "enraged by the (players') party as well."
"And captain Ujfalusi's decision to end his international career is unfortunate," Poborsky added.
AC Milan defender Marek Jankulovski, enraged by being mentioned as one of the players at the party which then proved untrue, said he was also contemplating quitting international football.