In a major fail for Russian sporting organizers, the Czech Republic’s hockey team was forced to listen to the Kazakhstan national anthem during a match in Moscow on Sunday.
When Czech hockey players entered the rink for the Channel One Cup for their match with Sweden, they expected to hear the Czech national anthem “Where My Home Is” as usual. Instead, the organizers mistakenly played the Kazakhstan one.
The Czech fans started protesting loudly, and after half of the Kazakh anthem was played, the organizers stopped it.
Czech team coach Miloš Říha and players were surprised, but they expected the mistake to be corrected and to hear the right anthem soon.
However, this did not happen, so the fans had to sing the Czech anthem themselves, which the players, as well as coaches, later said they appreciated very much.
A video of the anthem screw-up was posted to Twitter.
??Pořadatelé hokejového turnaje v Moskvě pustili kazašskou hymnu místo té české. Hlasatel se sice omluvil, správnou hymnu ale už nepustil. Čeští fanoušci ji přesto zazpívali – i bez doprovodu⤵️ pic.twitter.com/Na8p3Hf3h1
— ČT24 (@CT24zive) December 15, 2019
Although the Russian Hockey Federation apologized for the incident on its website, Miloš Říha described the situation as shameful, given that there were no complications with the Swedish anthem before the Czech one was supposed to be played.
The incident comes only a week after a similar incident when Swiss organizers of the Women’s World Floorball Championships mistakenly replaced the Slovak anthem with the Czech one.