Friday, November 25, 2011
The basic story, which, if true will be seismological in its effect in Poland ahead of a championships that are meant to showcase all that is modern and progressive about the nation, is here.
New sports minister, Joanna Mucha has passed the accusations on to the attorney general.
It's too early to attribute guilt or not, but coming so close to the Poland and Ukraine-staged Euro 2012 championships, this is not going to help the image of Polish soccer one little bit.
I remember watching the TV three years ago as PZPN announced the results of the ballot among its members for who was going to be the new chief of Polish football. It was a significant moment in the history of the game here. The previous years had been mired by a widespread match fixing scandal, with tens, and then hundreds of PZPN officials, coaches and players being arrested. Polish football stank like a footballers' changing rooms on a wet Sunday morning, and the game needed new leadership, and a new image.
And then it was announced that Grzegorz Lato was to be the new head of PZPN. The person I was watching the TV with and I let out a simultaneous groan of disappointment. Lato was associated with the old guard at PZPN, the same bunch of cronies that had presided over a game reeking of corruption.
Lato was a once brilliant footballer in the 1970s but who later became a politician for the ex-communist left, a party that had been so tainted by corruption scandals during the 1990s and first half of the 2000s that they might never be in government again.
Lato was the 'no-change candidate' for the PZPN presidency.
In recent days he has been embroiled in a 'where's the eagle on our football shirts' scandal. A messy compromise has been hammered out and the eagle will be sown back onto the shirts. It left Lato looking a bit of a fool already. And now this.
If the allegations of corruption are true then to say this is an own-goal by Polish football would be understatement of the year.
Posted by beatroot at 11/25/2011