Jan Kozak, former manager of Slovakia's national soccer team who resigned on October 14 revealed the reasons behind his decision at a press conference on Thursday: Seven of his players went out for drinking after the 1-2 loss against Czech on October 13.
"It hurts a lot as if somebody has spat on me. It was like a slap in the face. I could have pretended not to know (about the party), but that's not my style. Or I could have suspended the seven players from the national team, but no. To have sent these players away could have affected Slovakia's future because their quality cannot be ignored, so that's why I decided to resign," said Kozak.
The seven players are Martin Dubravka, Michal Sulla, Lubomir Satka, Norbert Gyomber, Milan Skriniar, Stanislav Lobotka, and Vladimir Weiss.
Kozak said that he watched their lost game with Czech twice before he realized that several players went out. The next day, he met with captain Martin Skrtel and vice-captain Marek Hamsik who were also surprised by the news.
During the training session, Kozak first reviewed the game and called it a "problem" that seven players went out for drinking. Then he looked at them all in the eye for a response.
"Dubravka told me that he was having a difficult time at Newcastle. Weiss said he didn't know why he was out. Lobotka said he had a tough schedule at Celta Vigo and he needed to relax-which is funny when he plays Saturday and Saturday. Yet when asked about my departure，he said that coaches come and go and he's a professional," said Kozak.
President of the Slovak Football Association (SFZ), Jan Kovacik said that the players involved will not receive their reimbursements if they make it into the national squad next time. Instead, the money will go to the SFZ Foundation and the Slovak International Foundation.
Kozak was appointed Slovakia's manager in 2013 and helped his country enter the round of 16 at the 2016 UEFA European Championship. After his resignation, his assistant coach Stefan Tarkovic took over and led the team end a friendly with Sweden 1-1 on Tuesday.