WP SportoweFakty / Tomasz Fijałkowski / In the photo: Polish national team players
November 20, 2023, 12:07
A year has passed since the body was powdered and finally decomposed and fell to pieces in a public place. The Polish Football Association and the national team have only one thing in common: they try to outdo each other in embarrassing situations.
Scene before the away match against the Faroe Islands (2-0). The players run out to warm up, and a group of several hundred Polish fans chant from the stands: “PZPN, PZPN, eat… eat… eat PZPN.” One of the barons from the union’s management in the stands, clearly surprised, says to his colleagues: “But why the f… again?”
Post-match scene at the National Stadium after Friday’s match against the Czech Republic (1-1). Another activist, a former Polish representative, walks through the interview zone smiling. – You know, it wasn’t a bad match for us – he sums up.
Soon after, the players talk in interviews about progress in the game, next steps forward, positives and team building. No one seems concerned about reality, let alone disappointed or angry. And we are talking about the badly botched Euro 2024 qualifiers in the easiest group in the history of Polish football.
Players and officials live in their own football baroness bubble. They are really surprised that the world perceives them negatively.
Dominoes have started
But the players and federation employees lacked the argument necessary to deny reality. So far, the Polish Football Association has covered major or minor scandals with sporting successes, such as: staying in the first division of the Nations League, advancing to the World Cup, getting out of the group in the world championships in Qatar, or hiring a top European coach. Each of these events was a shield protecting the federation from flying tomatoes.
WATCH THE VIDEO: Poles are harsh after the national team’s embarrassment with the Czech Republic. “Lewandowski? A tragedy. We need to look for a successor”
Since the change of power in the Polish Football Association, something has been happening all the time. Cezary Kulesza’s first months passed relatively peacefully. The new president was appreciated in the community when, after Russia’s attack on Ukraine, he did not agree to compete with its team in the play-offs for the 2022 World Cup. Poland won with a walkover.
However, before the World Cup in Qatar, the dominoes began to fall. The topic of Czesław Michniewicz and his former relationship with the former head of the football mafia returned. The issue was constantly being revived, Michniewicz was in conflict with journalists, which had a negative impact on the perception of the federation and the entire national team.
Later, further scandals occurred, such as the employment of a security guard accused of participating in an organized criminal group. Then it got even worse. The World Cup in Qatar will be associated with the bonus scandal in our country until the end of the world. Michniewicz soon lost his job.
But this is not the end, because the Euro 2024 qualifying rounds have started and further image failures have started. The team’s flight to Chișinău for the match against Moldova will be a part of the history, with the guests flying on a happy plane with Mirosław Stasiak on board – who was convicted of corruption in football years ago.
And in the latest version, for a sarcastic post on social media, PZPN sends journalist Piotr Żelazny a letter calling for an apology. The effect is the opposite: the post from weeks ago was read by 13,000 people. users, a post with a request scan over a million.
Mediocrity has set in
The scandals in the offices went hand in hand with the team’s decline. Grzegorz Krychowiak spilled the beans exactly a year ago after a friendly match against Chile. – Don’t expect us to play beautiful football. Defense brings us better results, he said. Later, Czesław Michniewicz tried to convince the fans of this. Robert Lewandowski and Piotr Zieliński protested in interviews and wanted something more, while the former coach maintained that only building the goal would ensure Poland’s results.
This is how our football was characterized by mediocrity, minimalism and acceptance of any excesses without major consequences.
Another grenade thrown into the cesspool was Łukasz Skorupski’s interview (for Onet) about quarrels and divisions in the team in connection with the bonus promised by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki before the World Cup. The lid of the well burst again after Robert Lewandowski’s words about the lack of personality in the team (interview for Eleven Sports and Meczyk).-
The captain accused the goalkeeper of lying and also grabbed the ears of PZPN employees and the team in general. And even after such an earthquake, there was no reaction – from the players on the pitch and from president Kulesza, who used the fact that Lewandowski did not mention anyone by name, and his people did not change anything in their actions anyway.
We continued to believe that things would sort themselves out and the fans would forget, because we were going to the next tournament in a moment.
Sweeping the dirty laundry under the carpet is the only clear tactic adopted by the federation and the team so far. After the match against the Czech Republic (1:1), which was average to the core, the players talk about progress. Jan Bednarek, the master of “memic” quotes, conveyed the message that we will get to the Euro because we have faith, and the next coach, Michał Probierz, maintains the same narrative. The problem is that no one believes it anymore.
The example comes from above. The hiring of Fernando Santos was supposed to be a new deal that would cover up the bullshit from Qatar, but time showed that it once again served only as a PR move. How many slogans were there for the public about transferring the great experience of the Portuguese guru, who won the European Championship in 2016, to Polish football, and about introducing Polish coaches to his staff? Nothing came of it. As a result, Santos did not discover any new player for the team and lost control in the Euro 2024 qualifiers after the first three minutes in Prague.
The team began to be afraid of its own shadow, it lost in Chisinau (2:3) while leading 2:0, it had no chance in Albania (0:2), and the most telling image was the image of the Polish staff after the match against the Faroe Islands in Warsaw (2:0). . One of Santos’ assistants accepted the win with great relief and joy, talking about the enormous pressure and paralysis in the team. And all this after meeting a team of semi-professionals.
Santos wanted to win the Euro
No one even remembers the victory over Germany (1-0) in June, which until recently was considered a national holiday in Poland, because until Adam Nawałka (2014) we had never beaten them.
How grotesque the words of Wojciech Szczęsny from the first Euro 2024 qualifying group sound today. – During the first meeting with us, coach Fernando Santos said something that may seem unrealistic. He said he wanted to win the Euro – said the goalkeeper in an interview with “Łączy Nas Piłka”.
It will soon turn out that the only smart one was Paulo Sousa (after him, Michniewicz became the coach), who, seeing what he had to deal with, simply fled from Poland.
History brutally comes full circle
In the Polish Football Association and the football team, a year has passed since the body was powdered, which finally decomposed completely and fell to pieces in a public place.
The Polish national team is still on a ventilator due to their participation in the championship play-offs in Germany. But the last twelve months have been wasted. There has been no smooth generational change in the team, there are no new leaders, no stability and no results.
Robert Lewandowski makes it clear that these are his last months in the national team. The captain of the national team remembers what bryndza means in the national team. He started in the twilight of Leo Beenhakker, when we lost to Northern Ireland, Slovenia, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. It was a team marked by spectacular tricks by Artur Boruc, playing in the snow at an empty Silesian Stadium, when fans called for a boycott of the Polish Football Association, and Grzegorz Lato fired Leo Beenhakker in a TV interview, without the Dutchman’s knowledge. In those 2010 World Cup qualifiers, Poland was in the group only above San Marino. Today we will most likely finish qualifying only ahead of the Faroe Islands. History brutally comes full circle.
The Polish Football Association hired him to protect Lewandowski. Shocking facts came to light
He fixed dozens of matches. The Polish Football Association invited him to the team’s away match
This would be a bomb. The Poles can play in the play-offs against their recent rival
WATCH TEAM MATCHES IN WP PILOT (sponsored link)