For more than twenty years, she strengthened the defense of Slavia Praha Exico, the best Czechoslovak women’s team of the second half of the last century, feared by all of Europe. He has collected dozens of matches in the national team jersey. He won the Austrian Bundesliga for ten years. After the end of his career, he raised his successors at Sparta Prague. Eva Hanikaová is a living guide to the history of women’s football. The book about her, titled The Empress of Women’s Football, was published by Epocha publishing house.
At the moment, the Czech women’s national team is trying to get into the World Championship. At the same time, he recorded one participation, still during the federal period – in 1988 in China. The championship is unofficial, without qualification, only for twelve selected, under the name International Women’s Football Tournament.
And the support of the team is Slavist stopper Eva Haniaková. The course of the championship and his personal experiences are described in the book in the chapter with a lioness on his chest:
The invitation also came to Prague, to the Football Association Committee of the Central Committee of the Czechoslovak Physical Education Association, as the highest body covering football activities was called at that time.
“We are Chairman Rudolf Kocek big supporter and accepted the offer,” remembers the empress, who was able to present her empire on the world stage.
The championship was held from June 1-12, 1988 in China, a country of the socialist bloc. In a country closed off during the Cultural Communist Revolution, the famous long wall keeps the inhabitants of the world’s most populous state inside rather than letting in harmful influences.
However, the female footballers are spoiling for him. After all, the ideological mortar here is no longer as solid and impenetrable as it was during the reign of the “great tyrant” Mao Zedong (he died in 1976).
A core group of four strong, now with the brand of death. The 0:1 defeat against the favored Swedes, who later reached the final and lost to the Norwegians in the Scandinavian derby, was not a disgrace. “We got a goal two minutes from the end and it was really unlucky,” Haniakova sighed.
“It was a shot from a wide angle, from the corner flag. But our goalkeeper Milada Novotná was not used to chasing at night under artificial lighting and she did not see the ball,” the sigh grew stronger. “I had a chance to equalize after a corner kick in the set-up, but I just shot past the goalkeeper,” the sad breath has ended completely.
The 2:1 win against the Japanese women, who at that time were just chasing (2011 world champions), raised hopes of advancing to the quarterfinals. However, it was cut short by a goalless draw with the USA.
“Not to beat the American women, that would be great glory now,” reminding that this is the most successful national women’s team in history, world champions in 1991, 1999, 2015 and 2019. “But you could keep up with them then,” teaching.
The Czechoslovak selection was opposed by the championship system. With twelve participants in three groups of four, he also sent the two best from third place to the quarterfinals.
“The Dutch women also tried to enter the eight, and our match was whistled by their compatriots, who watched it,” reveals behind the scenes. The orange tulips advanced with a better score (4:2). The Australian women have one more point.
Only this generation played in a World Cup, albeit unofficially. “It never occurred to me that the Czechoslovak and then the Czech team would not watch the top event,” Haniaková didn’t believe it. “At the same time, playing in the world championship was the biggest experience of my career. Even in women’s football!’
The reader will find such and other stories in the book Empress of Football Eva Haniaková, published by Epocha publishing house.