Dukla, the tragedy and opportunity of the east


Celtic went into the home first leg of their European Cup semi-final against Dukla Prague at 1-1.  Two second half goals from Willie Wallace added to Jimmy Johnstone’s opener were enough to ensure a British team would eventually reach the final of Europe’s premier tournament.  The return leg finished goalless.

The clubs met 14 years later in the Feyenoord Tournament, when two first half goals from Murdo McLeod secured a 2-1 win.  Since then, European football has been robbed of its meritocratic principles, which allowed talented clubs a route to the top, no matter how rich or poor their domestic TV contract was.  Nowhere has been so brutally robbed as east/central Europe.

The 1960s-through-80s saw teams from Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, Yugoslavia and Poland regularly dominate clubs from Scandinavia, south-eastern Europe, France, and occasionally, all comers.  Eastern Europe remains one of the world’s most productive areas for developing talented footballers, but even the average ones are stolen for a pittance while still in their teens.

In the 60s, Dukla were a genuine leading light in the game, producing seven of the Czech team who collected runners-up medals to Pele’s Brazil in the 1962 World Cup, with peerless midfielder, Josef Masopust, picking up the European Player of the Year award that year.  They would have fancied their chances against Celtic in ’67.

Where great tradition and sporting affection exists, so too does commercial opportunity.  The people of east/central Europe just need to figure out how to harness it.  Uefa are Europe’s maker of competitions.  Their job is to establish the structures which allows great and successful sport to take place.  A modern-day Jules Rimet is needed.

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  1. Clashcitybhoy on

    With Broony’s long termish injury, I would like to see Adam Matthews given a shot in the middle of the park.


    For me he has all the attributes to be an excellent midfielder – good on ball, good athlete, pace and a wee bit of aggression when needed. I also think he would be a reasonable finisher for chances that came his way.



  2. Weefrathe Tim



    Sincere condolences on the loss of your Mum.



    You were just speaking of her quality of life yesterday



    KTF & HH

  3. Weefra



    I’m so sorry Fhriend. She’ll be at peace.



    Thoughts and prayers for you and yours xx



    HH jamesgang

  4. Ellboy - I am Neil Lennon, YNWA. on






    Trying to equate this conflict to others of the past is far too simplistic and to compare this to the Nazi’s is wholly deframotry, dangerous and couldn’t be farther from the truth. This is a multifaceted problem and the innocent peoples of Gaza and Israel are caught in the middle of much farther reaching agendas. Unfortunately there are dangerous ideologies that exist and have influenced populations to hate and despise instead of to coexist & tolerate other faiths, religions and peoples. You may not think so but Israel has a right to exist and so does the Palestinians. If these two simple truths were accepted instead of rejected by some very extreme groups/regimes in the Middle East then there would be peace. It seems your attitude is more in line with the extreme views of not acceptic the rights of one side to exist. This is a very dangerous attitude one that will never find resolution and certainly one that should never be attached to our open to all football club.






    I couldn’t agree with you more. Much of what passes for political/humanitarian debate on this site, sadly, imo, takes little or no account of often very complicated situations, e.g. I have heard little or nothing of the persecution of the ancient Christian communities of the Middle East, which has gone unabated and, too often, unremarked on because it is carried out by the likes of Hamas and Isis.






    This is so true and it begs the question to why many of these atrocities are ignored, yet this one is so prominent within sections of our support. By all means question motivations and raise your concerns but don’t ignore the murderous extremism going on elsewhere.




  5. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on



    sad news buddy, god bless your wee maw..

  6. Pogmathonyahun aka Laird of the Smiles on

    Weefra, sorry to hear your bad news. Sincere condolences may she rest in peace.

  7. leftclicktic We are all Neil Lennon on

    Weefrathe Tim


    Thoughts & prayers


    Bada Bing


    3:45 Southwell

  8. Weefra the tim


    Thoughts and prayers for your mum


    May she rest in peace.



  9. leftclicktic We are all Neil Lennon on



    Afternooooooooooooon bud hope yer well:)))

  10. ellboy – i am neil lennon, ynwa.



    13:32 on 13 July, 2014





    Of course the jewish have a right to exist .. Just as much as me,you and the palestinians.



    But if hamas burried their weapons tomorrow do you think the palestinians would recieve equal rights with the israelis ?



    Do you honestly believe that israel are accidently killing women and children ?



    Its all done on purpose and backed by the yanks,brits etc



    Palestine is being slowly wiped off the map . I think the end is near for them.




  11. HighlandBhoy on

    The OO know that numbers are dwindling and that the normal man in the street is starting to see them for what they are, an overtly sectarian organization.



    The head honchos know This and are trying to adopt a cloak of pseudo respectability by coming out with statements like the “OO is not a sectarian organisation” and “Sectarianism does not exist in Scotland”.Remember to that “they have been working hard with Police Scotland to minimise trouble at other celebrations, and have been providing trained Stewards from within the organisation” The lunatics are taking over the asylum springs to mind.



    The problem lies in the very origins of what they stand for and they know that there only hope of survival is to pander to the knuckle draggers.They cannot sustain this forever and in Scotland we will see attitudes change over time and they will become an irrelevance.Northern Ireland will obviously take a lot longer.



    What chance in years to come that our grandkids will be watching half a dozen old guys walking through a village in deepest darkest Ayrshire pulling a ghetto blaster behind them playing the sash? Wish full thinking yes, but it will happen.

  12. WeefratheTim


    so sorry to hear of your mums passing, thoughts and prayers with you and yours


    may she rest in peace

  13. proudbhoy



    But if hamas burried their weapons tomorrow do you think the palestinians would recieve equal rights with the israelis ?





    Flip that round for a minute, and ask, if Israel buried their weapons tomorrow do you think Jews would receive equal rights?



    This conflict has gone on for thousands of years one wiping out the other and back and forth they go, at the moment the Jews are more powerful so you are against them but there’s really no good or bad guys here.

  14. The Battered Bunnet on




    Saddened to hear the news of your Mum’s passing. I’ll keep you and the family in my thoughts today.




  15. Ellboy - I am Neil Lennon, YNWA. on




    I am 100% sure that if they (and other entities) taught their children tolerance not hate & recognised the right of Israel to exist, then they would have immediate peace and prosperity would soon follow.





    I read someone trying equate this to the new David and Goliath but not wanting to make any further political debate on a football blog, so I’ll try to make a footballing analogy instead.



    Perhaps Celtic should consider giving up some of our powerful footballing weapons to make the SPFL a fairer league. What you think?



    Nah I didn’t think so either!




  16. Dallas Dallas where the heck is Dallas on

    Weefra, sorry to hear about your mum passing away.



    She fought to the end.



    May she rest in peace

  17. johann murdoch on

    Happy birthday oldtim !!! Right off oot on 4 mile beach walk along algarve golden beach ( octopus salad and super bock at the end !) hh

  18. Weefrathe Tim and also Braw



    My heartfelt condolences to both of you and your families por cierto…

  19. johann murdoch on

    Apologies weefra



    Didn’t read back about the sad loss of your mum


    Condolences to you and your family – may she rest in peace hh

  20. johann murdoch


    “Right off oot on 4 mile beach walk along algarve golden beach ( octopus salad and super bock at the end !) hh”



    Hate your guts por cierto :)

  21. !!Bada Bing!! on

    Johann- enjoy,delayed 2 hours at Manchester en route tae Tenerife,i will miss Germany’s 3-0 rout of Argentina…