An evacuation slide inflated by mistake stopped the Czech Republic on their way to a Euro 2020 play-off game against the Netherlands in Budapest, the team said on Saturday.
The Czechs, qualified as the third best team in Group D, are facing Group C winners the Netherlands at the Puskas Arena in a last-16 game on Sunday evening.
The players were already sitting on the special plane on Saturday morning, but they had to get off over the bizarre defect.
“I have experienced delayed flights, postponed flights, even cancelled flights because of the coronavirus," tweeted midfielder Alex Kral.
“But this is my first flight that didn’t happen because of an evacuation slide inflated by mistake," said the Spartak Moscow player.
He added photos of the slide from inside and outside the plane, complete with a “slidesandjumpingcastles" hashtag.
Zažil jsem zpoždění letu, přesunutí také, dokonce i zrušení kvůli korona viru. Ale neodletět kvůli omylem nafouknuté skluzavce, to je poprvé #ceskarepre #EURO #SkluzavkyASkákacíHrady pic.twitter.com/ZTaE9eNROX— Alex Král (@alexkralcz) June 26, 2021
The team management was a bit more serious about the incident.
“Due to technical problems on the plane, the Czech national football team will fly to Budapest in the afternoon," team spokesman Petr Sedivy said in a statement.
Based in Prague after having to move its base camp from Edinburgh over strict coronavirus rules in Scotland, the team will hold the official training session at a local stadium on Saturday noon (1000 GMT).
The winner of Sunday’s game will face either Wales or Denmark in the quarter-finals on July 3.