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Sabata, Petr

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Pravda - Slovakia | 07/05/2007

Ice hockey unites and divides the Czechs and Slovaks

When it comes to the national sport of ice hockey, Czechs and Slovaks forget their traditional friendship. At the World Cup in Moscow, the two countries faced each other in the second round. Petr Sabata, the Czech editor in chief of the Slovakian newspaper, describes the dilemma: "In recent days there has been much to celebrate in matters of Slovakian-Czech relations. At the summer Shakespeare festival in Brno, Bratislava and Prague, people revelled in the mixed troupes of Slovakian and Czech actors. In Prague, legislators decided to establish an institution for research into the totalitarian regime, along the lines of the Slovakian office for public memory. Slovakians and Czechs both noted with satisfaction that they've been in the EU three years now. And now the bad news: In ice hockey, our relations will deteriorate again. Because a World Cup game can not go without a winner." In the end, the Slovaks beat the Czechs 3 to 2.

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