Czech assistant referee Lucie Ratajová missed a crucial call during a Sparta-Brno match last weekend, receiving a four-game suspension along with some not-entirely-unexpected sexist flack from players on social media.
After Sunday’s game, Sparta Lukáš Vácha tweeted a photo of Ratajová with the caption “Ke sporáku” (To the stove).
Meanwhile, teammate Tomas Koubek told iDnes: “In my opinion, women should stay at the stove and not officiate men’s football.”
The players’ actions were quickly denounced by Czech FA chairman Miroslav Pelta who issued an apology deeming the comments “totally unacceptable”.
Sparta General director Adam Kotalik also addressed the burgeoning PR nightmare, stating that “there are some boundaries that cannot be crossed.”
In a possibly misguided let-the-punishment-fit-the-crime scenario, Sparta players have been sent to train with the Sparta women’s teams and are being appointed ambassadors of the team at the Uefa Women’s Champions League games.
Kotalik went on to say:
“As well as serving as ambassadors of the team at the Uefa Women’s Champions League games they will…take part at some of the training sessions with one of our women’s team to see with their own eyes that the women can be skillful somewhere else than at the stove, too.”
Koubek who is a father of girls took to his Facebook page to apologize on Monday saying:
“Yesterday in Brno an error caused a lot of emotions…I immediately after the game said the sentence which saddens me, and for which I would like to apologize to all women. It wasn’t meant to be chauvinistic, my statement was directed at a specific person and situation that arose in the game…I love my girls and I want them to prove something in life, that they are proud of.”
Ratajova twice failed to flag for an offside, once before an early-game Sparta goal and later on in the match when Sparta lost a 3-2 lead against Brno following an Alois Hyčka goal.