Vrba to take over as Czech coach
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Viktoria Plzen coach Pavel Vrba will take charge of the Czech Republic national team in January after activating a clause in his contract, the Czech Football Federation (FACR) announced on Monday.

"I would like (Pavel Vrba) to start working for the FACR from January 1 in the build-up to the start of the EURO 2016 qualifiers," FACR president Miroslav Pelta was quoted as saying on the federation's official website.

Vrba is under contract with the Czech champions Plzen until June 2015 but he can leave before then if a release fee of 8m CZK (€295,000) is paid.

"It is the decision of Pavel Vrba, who prefers a new challenge. We respect this decision without trying to hide our immense disappointment," said Plzen manager Adolf Sadek, who added that Vrba will leave the club on 15 December.

Since arriving at Plzen in 2008, Vrba has led the club to remarkable success, winning two league titles and leading them into this season's UEFA Champions League group stage.

He will take charge of their final two group games against Manchester City on 27 November and CSKA Moscow on 10 December.

Josef Pesice has been in charge of the Czech Republic on an interim basis since Michal Bilek departed after the team missed out on qualification for next year's FIFA World Cup™.