Soccer

Plzen coach Pavel Vrba to take over Czech Republic

PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech football federation head says Viktoria Plzen coach Pavel Vrba will take over the Czech Republic national team on Jan. 1, 2014.

Miroslav Pelta made the announcement Monday, briefly after Vrba announced he will use an option in his contract to quit Plzen on Dec. 15, before it expires in 2015. Pelta says: "I'm glad we'll get a coach who has a number of great results behind him."

Pelta was trying to sign Vrba after Michal Bilek resigned from the post following a failure to qualify for the 2014 World Cup. The team is currently led by interim coach Josef Pesice. The 49-year-old Vrba led Plzen to the lucrative Champions League twice in the last three years.

Plzen said in a statement it was disappointed by Vrba's decision.

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