Footballers held over Czech nightclub fracas

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The Independent Football
Five members of the Northern Ireland football squad were detained by Czech police yesterday after a flowerpot was thrown at a waitress during a row over a drinks bill at a Prague strip club.

Five members of the Northern Ireland football squad were detained by Czech police yesterday after a flowerpot was thrown at a waitress during a row over a drinks bill at a Prague strip club.

A man, believed to be a bouncer at the Nancy cabaret club, needed stitches for a cut to his eye after the disturbance when the group left early yesterday morning.

The five members, the team captain Michael Hughes, the strikers David Healy and Glenn Ferguson, the winger Peter Kennedy and the goalkeeping coach Tommy Wright, were detained at the team hotel yesterday morning. They were accompanied to the police station by an interpreter and British embassy officials and were held in cells while they awaited the results of blood tests.

They were held for 10 hours until they were released without charge and are due to fly back to Britain today.

The incident followed the team's 3-1 defeat by the Czech Republic in a World Cup qualifying match in Teplice, 60 miles north-west of the Czech capital on Wednesday night.

The rest of the Northern Ireland squad flew into London yesterday. Maik Taylor, the team's goalkeeper, said: "We certainly don't know what's gone on and who's at fault."

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