Former Czech international and Manchester United and Benfica midfield star Karel Poborský is entering the field of politics.
Poborský, the part owner of the top league club Dynamo České Budějovice, says he will stand in autumn regional elections for the center-right Civic Democrats (ODS) although he is not at the moment a member of the party. “The ODS is a party which I have long supported. I have declared that publicly on several occasions before. But this time when they asked whether I would stand, I agreed.”
The 40-year-old, famous for his lobbed goal in the 1996 European Championships, in which the Czechs were runners up, and for his record 118 international appearances for his country, described himself to the news server aktuálné.cz as “a South Bohemian patriot” who wanted to do something for the region.
‘The ODS is a party which I have long supported. I have declared that publicly on several occasions before.’
Poborský strongly denied any national political ambitions but guaranteed that he was not just a gimmick for the main governing party in the current center-right coalition to win votes. He said the main priorities for the South Bohemia region were improved motorway links and the building of two new nuclear reactors at the state-power company ČEZ’s current Temelín site.
The ODS, headed by prime minister Petr Nečas, are currently performing poorly in the polls nationwide following a series of austerity measures and corruption scandals which have tainted the party and brittle coalition.
The footballer was one of the main driving forces behind a move to form an association to represent Czech professional footballers last year, a sort of union, and headed the pro football association following its creation.