He should completely disappear from Czech football for two years and still pay 25,000 crowns. On Wednesday, referee Zdeněk Vaňkát read out the decision of the FACR Ethics Committee, which accuses him of deliberately influencing the second-highest competition match between Vyšehrad and Varnsdorf three years ago. In an interview with Aktuálně.cz, however, he denied any guilt and his meetings with Vyšehrad’s sporting director were said to be polite.
What do you say about the sanction which was inflicted on you by the ethics committee of the FACR?
He accuses me of somehow influencing the outcome of a sports match. I really don’t know how or what was behind it. At the same time, the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court have declared that football is in the general interest. Influencing the outcome of a sports match is now a crime, whether in the form of fraud or bribery. The ethics committee has a criminal record in which the law enforcement agency sees no guilt in my actions, but the ethics committee still supersedes the power of the state and claims that I have committed a crime. It’s a mystery to me.
The Commission sanctioned you for influencing Fortuna: National League between Vyšehrad and Varnsdorf three years ago as an assistant referee, following a previous meeting with Vyšehrad sporting director Roman Rogoz. have you met?
It’s no secret that officials and referees meet for courtesy breakfasts, post-game dinners and more. I don’t see anything wrong with that. This trend is also found internationally. There is usually contact between the club and the referee. All I see in this is that the game was officiated by three referees (Pavel Julínek and Zdeněk Koval, note. Red.) and only I was again selectively selected and punished. There was nothing at breakfast with Roman Rogoz that should somehow motivate me to intentionally influence the game.
Can you say that you have a friendly relationship with Roman Rogoz?
When you work in football for a while, these courtesy encounters develop over time. I do not deny it. But this is not only the question of Roman Rogoz. People who are now on the executive committee or expert committees were sitting in the booth with me. The Czech pond is so small that it is impossible to escape it.
And do you find it ethically correct?
There is probably an opinion that there should be no contact between the official and the referee, but I don’t agree with that and from an ethical point of view I don’t see anything wrong with that. Football is a social event. The owners of the club should think the most whether to ban it.
– football referee and official of Chomutov
– in the past he headed the Regional Football Association of Ústí nad Labem and was also a member of the referees’ commission for the Czechs
– In 2015, he spent six months in pre-trial detention for covering up a Balkan gang who wanted to rob former politician Rudolf Blažek’s villa.
– three years later the court acquitted him and last week it sentenced the state to 170,000 crowns
– has the reputation of “the man of Berbr”. A new jury headed by Roman Příhoda removed him from the list of judges for professional competitions last year.
– On Wednesday, the FACR Ethics Committee imposed a two-year ban on his activities based on information from a police file codenamed “Šváb”, which monitors alleged criminal activity football officials Roman Berbr and Roman Rogoz.
In this match, Vyšehrad won three important points in the fight to the rescue and won 3: 1. Do you admit that you made a mistake in this match as a border?
There was an error in one of the visiting team’s border offside situations. When I was on the ethics committee, she was not able to tell me what the precise situation was and I had to correct them. They asked some pretty biased questions. I consider their legal knowledge to be very weak. A border situation of the referee is immediately grounds for disciplinary proceedings, a penalty of two years and a fine of 25,000 crowns. No one blamed me after the game, and the guest coach said in the post-game interview that they lost the game themselves. Not under the influence of referee Vaňkát. At the same time, the judges’ errors have so far been resolved in every round. Will they now go to the ethics committee as judges after a mistake?
However, the ethics committee would have relied, among other things, on a conversation via the WhatsApp application, which the investigators obtained from Roman Rogoz’s phone and in which, after the match against Varnsdorf, you also write about how “you have a blue heart”. and how you worry about offside, the situation is told by the match delegate. Didn’t that hurt you?
They have at their disposal a list of WhatsApp communications from Roman Rogoz, but with whom he also writes people. According to my information, about 35 names appear in the transcripts. That doesn’t mean I’m part of the Swabian investigative file and the whole thing. If I was, I could watch it, but I can’t. Despite the mentions of my name in the list of conversations, I do not have the status of witness, accused, injured in the eyes of the investigator, I do not appear in anything. But the ethics committee now took me on purpose, created my own story, and said I just belonged in this case. Now I have to clear my name.
So you are appealing the ethics committee’s decision?
Certainly. I need to know their rationale to explain how they came to do something. I have been with me for 15 years, when I was there when something was proven to someone, I also had a personal experience, when I appeared in court, a prosecutor objected to me and I had to give an explanation. What the ethics committee allowed, the prosecutor and the court did not allow. Right now, I am slowly preparing to sue the FACR. I must get this dispute out of the FACR barracks as quickly as possible before an independent tribunal, where the commission will not be subject to my person.
You have already appeared in court, you even spent six months in pre-trial detention for your alleged complicity in the planned attack on the villa of former Prague politician Rudolf Blažek. The court then acquitted you and a few days ago you even ordered the state to pay compensation of 170,000 crowns. Do you perceive him as having a negative sticker in football?
I don’t see anyone in the head. But if you list who the commission punished, it is Miloš Vitner who works with me in the Ústí nad Labem region, Jan Hořejší, who has never been charged, like me, and it was the three of us who wanted lead Czech Republic football to provoke someone else. I’m more interesting in the media, Vaňkát has never hidden the fact that it’s Berber, and they know I have some voting power. For their part, I see a purpose in it.
But it’s not just about you. Due to suspicious dialogues in the file, well-known names among judges such as Pavel Královec, Petr Ardeleanu, Pavel Rejžek and others disappeared from the list of judges in the first league. Even so, do you think not everyone will eventually arrive?
The file is leaking, many people have already consulted it, and I see that the ethics committee is selectively selecting the people with whom it could initiate disciplinary proceedings. Referees care the most, because they don’t belong to anyone, they’re not club players, that’s the simplest thing.
Are you surprised where the cockroach case goes?
I don’t want to comment too much so as not to give the impression that I am defending someone or not. From my experience, I say one thing: there is a presumption of innocence and you have to stick to it. This was also met by the court, which awarded me damages a few days ago. He said that the FACR should have respected the presumption of innocence and that I should normally have participated in competitions as a referee during my investigation. Until something is proven to someone they should be considered innocent, I stand by that.
So you still count Roman Berber among your friends?
I’ve said this in previous interviews, and I can’t change my mind every time I communicate with a journalist. I have no contact with Roman at the moment, a little with Dáša Damková, but not at all with him. But as long as the accused is not found guilty, it is useless to speak of a change of opinion.
Reactions from the ethics committee
“It is not true that the EC selects those prosecuted selectively – on the contrary – we have a clear plan, where we proceed according to the seriousness of the offenses and also according to the amount of evidence we have. This also plays a big role, more evidence will emerge.
As for the (in)possibility and power of the ethics committee to decide, Mr. Vaňkát’s legal interpretation is relatively innovative and would ultimately mean that the ethics committee can decide almost nothing. While this interpretation is certainly interesting, the Ethics Committee does not share it. In the case of Mr. Vaňkát, we believe that it is possible to prove his guilt, even taking into account the principle in dubio pro reo. As for the “legal awareness” of EC members, it is made up, among others, of experienced lawyers with several decades of legal experience. “
Jan Eisenreich, Chairman of the Ethics Committee of the FACR