October 24, 2011
The last time I visited the Czech Republic, there were two occasions on which I was given beer before midday. They love the stuff so much that they bathe in it. Yet most Czechs don't let their predisposition for the grain get in the way of their professional lives — an recent exception being the referee who was so loaded during a recent match that he could barely stand up:
A referee was so drunk at a Czech football match that he constantly fell over, sent off three players for no apparent reason before police stepped in and breathalysed the boozed-up official.
"His breath smelt like a brewery and he didn't hide the fact that he had been celebrating a birthday," Karel Dusek, an official from the Jestrabi Lhota club, told the Lidove Noviny newspaper.
The man in question is Tomas Fidra, who judged himself fit enough to take charge of Jestrabi's visit to Tynec-nad-Labem, despite being more tanked than Lindsay Lohan on a night out with Charlie Sheen. Fidra's lack of control was so blatant, that when the former were reduced to eight men, the home side demonstrated some good sportsmanship by agreeing not to attack. As there's no rule stopping a drunk referee presiding over a match, if either side had refused to play, they could have been sanctioned.
According to the English report and the original Czech newspaper, the ref had a 1.94 alcohol level in his blood. Either that's a typo, a European measurement scale or he has a superhuman tolerance for alcohol, as a level above 0.5% would kill most mortal folk.
Thankfully, the regional football authority decided to annul the match, and the shamed ref could face a 12-month suspension. Suddenly, Chris Foy's perceived errors don't seem so bad...
UPDATE: Mad props to reader Zoltan Baba, who reveals that the blood alcohol figure in the article is 1.94 permille, which equals 0.194% BAC. Which is still enough to bring down a herd of rampaging Keith Richardses.