Jancto will stop playing on ‘health, mental condition’

Czech Republic international Jakub Jancto has announced that he will not play for Sparta Prague this season due to health concerns.

The midfielder has made 16 appearances for Sparta in all competitions this term, having joined on loan from Spanish side Getafe.

“In recent years, and especially last year, I’ve had so much going on around me that it’s good to slow down and think about my health as well,” the 27-year-old said in an Instagram post.

“It has not been the best sporting year for me… I am even more saddened that my health and mental state will not allow me to continue my efforts for titles and cups.”

Sparta said in a statement that Juncto would step down from first-team duties due to “personal matters” and that the club had met with him on Tuesday following a traffic incident.

Sparta leads the Czech top flight with 61 points after 27 games, two points clear of second-placed Slavia Prague. The two Prague sides will meet in the Czech Cup final in May.

Jancto received widespread support after coming out as gay in February earlier this year, saying he wanted to live his life “in freedom”.

His announcement was met with support from Brazil and Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar, the English Premier League, La Liga and European football’s governing body UEFA.

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