Warsaw Stadium will Rise A contract has been signed to begin work on the new National Stadium in Warsaw The Krakow Post 4th May 2009
Just two weeks after Michel Platini's visit to Poland ended on an optimistic note, another bright spot for Poland's Euro 2012 preparations was announced. Miros³aw Drzewiecki, the country's minister of sport, along with the National Sporting Centre president, signed a contract today to start the construction of the National Stadium in Warsaw.
The contract is with the Austrian-German- Polish consortium Alpine - PBG. Juliusz Sikora, president of Alpine Construction Poland, also signed the 250 page agreement. Work will begin immediately, as Sikora stated at a press conference in the capital: "Our engineers are already on site, tomorrow we will take it over, and in a few days we will begin construction work." He also added that while the task is a difficult one, his engineers "are prepared" for the task. The stadium, whose projected costs are more than 1.2 billion z³oty, will be constructed over two years by 1,200 workers, and its planned completion date is May 2011. The nation will be watching its construction with hopes that the penalties for delays – also included in the signed contract – will not have to be imposed.
Ukraine's road to 2012 remains rocky as cities face stadium
Uefa will announce the list of host cities for Euro 2012 next week and everyone wants to keep hold of their slice of the financial pie guardian.co. uk 5/5/09 These are a big few days for Ukrainian football. On Thursday, they will find out who will be their first representatives in a European final for 23 years, as Shakhtar Donetsk host Dynamo Kyiv in the second leg of their Uefa Cup semi-final, a 1-1 first-leg draw having seemingly handed Shakhtar the initiative, even if they were second best for much of the game. Then, next Wednesday, Uefa will reveal the confirmed list of host cities for Euro 2012. After all the criticism and all the doubts, this will give a sense of finality. The criticism and the doubts are justified. Both host countries suffer chronic, almost institutionalised, corruption. Poland have a poor football infrastructure but decent transport; Ukraine has poor transport but good stadiums. Both have work to do on airports and hotels. But it does seem that this is going to happen. After a Uefa inspection in February, Hrihoriy Surkis, the head of the Football Federation of Ukraine, said he had breathed a sigh of relief. The mood had changed; Uefa, after numerous warnings, was content with the progress it saw. It should be noted, though, that it has given itself until September to change the host entirely. Still, though, there are question marks. The initial plan was for four cities in each country to host games: Warsaw, Gdansk, Chorzow and Wroclaw in Poland and Kyiv, Lviv, Dnipropetrovsk and Donetsk in Ukraine. Michel Platini, though, has warned that he will name "between six and eight" cities next Wednesday, and that they might not be evenly distributed between Poland and Ukraine, the implication being that Ukraine could be relieved of some of its hosting responsibility. And then there is the subplot of the reserve venues. It seems unlikely that either Kharkiv or Odessa could nudge into the frontline of the Ukrainian reckoning, but Krakow certainly could displace one of the Polish front-runners (presumably Chorzow, which is only an hour away and behind schedule). Given the success of Wisla, the local club, over the past decade, and the excellent tourist infrastructure in the city, it seems bewildering that it was not first choice to begin with – and who, after all, wants to spend three weeks stuck in what is effectively a suburb of the grimly industrial Katowice, when they could be in a thriving town full of historic sites, lively bars and excellent restaurants? Poznan, equally, has a realistic chance of replacing Gdansk. In Lviv, which for a long time seemed the least likely of the Ukrainian venues, there is quiet confidence. The head of the regional administration, Mykola Kmit, is an impressive figure, largely because he admits the problems and explains his solutions. That may not sound like much, but after the cloud-cuckoo drivel that has spewed from other administrators connected with the tournament, it is an encouraging novelty. He, of course, puts the case strongly for Lviv. It was, he points out, where football was first played in Ukraine. It's a compact town. It's the closest potential host to Poland and has good transport links. In 2008, 2.5m tourists visited Lviv: the estimated extra 300,000 or so for the Euros shouldn't place too great an additional strain on the infrastructure (and, frankly, 300,000 sounds high). When Pope John Paul II visited Lviv, it is estimated there were over a million visitors, and the city coped then. Kmit is thinking only of expansion. "Our target is to have 8 million visitors a year," he said. "Krakow has nine to 10 million a year and Lviv is often compared to Krakow." Which is all well and good, but Lviv differs from Donetsk and Dnipropetrovsk in that the tourist infrastructure there is far less of an issue that the stadium, the building of which suffered a series of false starts. The Austrian company, Alpine BAU, initially contracted to build it withdrew. "The Austrian company had signed the paperwork for the project development, and there was a clause in the contract that if they liked they could become a developer and an investor in the project, but they were asking too high a price," Kmit explained. "So we will pay them for the work they have done, the design, and we will build it with another company." That company, Azovinteks, has no specific expertise in stadium construction, which raises obvious concerns, but as Kmit says, they have completed a number of complex engineering projects, particularly in metallurgy. And, of course, they are a Ukrainian company: the investment in 2012 is being returned to Ukrainians. Whatever else the European Championship in three years is, it is an opportunity for Ukraine – and to a lesser extent Poland – to haul themselves out of the economic crisis. And the crisis, of course, is, on top of all the other worries, the real problem. A recent BBC report said that no European country was as close to complete economic collapse as Ukraine, and the fact that their government felt the need to apply to the IMF for a $16bn loan – which was turned down – gives some indication of how critical the situation is. Which, of course, raises the question of just how much of the 1bn Hryvnia (£83m) needed to redevelop the airport or the 180m Hryvnia (£15m) required for the stadium construction it's going to be possible to raise from national and regional government or the private sector within Ukraine. The positive way to look at the situation, though, is to view the tournament not as a burden, but as a tremendous stimulus. "If something has to be cut, it will not be Euro 2012," says Kmit. "From my point of view this is a great opportunity, because you're spending into development, which should stimulate growth. 2012 will lead to increased tourism, not only to Lviv but to all of the Ukraine." Certain ambitions have been scaled back because of the financial crisis: there will, for instance, be fewer hotels, and fewer new border crossing points – but then, there are likely to be fewer visitors, so there is in a sense a natural balance. The road will not be smooth. There are likely to be further crises ahead, and the chances are that 2012 will not be an easy tournament for fans or journalists. Part of the rationale behind awarding the tournament to Poland and Ukraine was to reach out to eastern Europe. That is even more important now than it was when the decision was taken. Perhaps 2012 will at times feel like an ordeal, but it will at least be for a necessary cause.
UEFA names 4 Polish Euro 2012 hosts, 1 in Ukraine 5/13/09o BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — UEFA chose four cities in Poland to host matches at the 2012 European Championship on Wednesday but said tournament co-host Ukraine could wind up with only two venues unless it makes major infrastructure improvements in the next six months. UEFA said Warsaw, Gdansk, Wroclaw and Poznan will host games, while reserve cities Krakow and Chorzow were both scratched. Meanwhile, UEFA delivered a sharp warning to Ukraine by confirming only Kiev as a host city and holding off on previous plans to stage the final in the Ukrainian capital. UEFA guaranteed Kiev group matches, quarterfinal matches and a semifinal. It said Kiev will only host the final if significant improvements are made by Nov. 30 on the city's Olympic Stadium, airport, infrastructure and hotels. Three other cities in Ukraine — Lviv, Donetsk and Kharkiv — also have until Nov. 30 to prove they can make the massive upgrades to roads, airports, stadiums and hotels necessary to host matches. "We've clearly set out the conditions Ukrainian cities must fulfill before Nov. 30 to host Euro 2012," UEFA president Michel Platini told reporters in Bucharest. "We would like for the executive committee to have an equal division of cities between Poland and Ukraine. If Ukrainian cities cannot fulfill the conditions by Nov. 30, we will organize Euro 2012 with four Polish cities and the two best prepared Ukrainian cities." The two Ukrainian reserve cities of Odessa and Dnipropetrovsk were both dropped.
------------------------------------------------------------------ Polish PM claims country will be ready for EURO 2012 euFootball.BIZ 12 May, 09 UEFA will no doubt be relieved to hear that construction and improvements are moving ahead as planned in Warsaw, as the Polish city scrambles to prepare for Euro 2012. The progress was noted by Prime Minister Donald Tusk, who feels that the country will be ready to host the competition in five or six cities, if necessary. However, he stated that four cities would be sufficient, so as not to undermine the partnership with co-host Ukraine. With UEFA set to pick the winning locations this week, the country has been placed under scrutiny following a few major setbacks. In addition to legal troubles, scandals, and governmental changes, Poland has been struggling with infrastructure obstacles and delays, as noted by Reuters. However, the country has since informed UEFA that the work appears to be back on track, with Warsaw, Gdansk, Krakow and Wroclaw identified as likely host cities. Even the new stadium construction planned for capital city Warsaw were held up, after private vendors refused to hand over their stadium-turned- market. The issue was eventually resolved, making way for a new 55,000 seat venue, scheduled to be completed in May 2011. A 41,000 seat arena is also being constructed in Gdansk, along with a 44,000 venue in Wroclaw. Arenas in Krakow, Poznan, and Chorzow – with the latter noted as an unlikely possibility – will all receive upgrading or expansions. UEFA had previously expressed concern over the lack of accommodations, noting Gdanks as the only location with a sufficient hotel offering.
Katowice, Krakow rail station renovation to continue despite UEFA decision The Warsaw Business Journal 13th May 2009
The train stations in Katowice – near Chorzów – and Kraków are to continue as planned in spite of not being selected to host Euro 2012 soccer championship games. "Neither of the investments is connected to the organization of the Euro 2012 [championships] , but are related to the needs and expectations of Polish Railways [PKP] clients" a statement by national rail operator, PKP, reads. According to the company, the paperwork required for the renovation of both stations is in the final stages of preparation. Earlier Wednesday UEFA, European soccer's governing body, announced that Warsaw, Gdañsk, Poznañ and Wroc³aw would host a number of games in 2012.
Platini: Poland? No Fears At All The UEFA head arrived yesterday to visit the Euro 2012 host cities Michal Tusk, Michal Jamroz Gazeta Wyborcza 2009-07-27
The UEFA delegation came to Gdañsk from Belarus.
'This is a courtesy visit. Firstly, Mr Platini wanted to see how the works are progressing, and secondly, this is a big honour for the host cities,' said Micha³ Brandt at the Gdañsk Euro 2012 Bureau. The UEFA officials spent five hours in the coastal city. They were rather sparing in their comments. The most important words were said during the press briefing: 'I have no doubts at all as far as Poland is concerned,' said Michel Platini. 'There are always risks, but here they stem from the fact that neither Poland nor Ukraine have ever organised an event of this size.'
He stressed the UEFA and its experts were always ready to help the host countries in the organisation of the cup.
Mr Platini visited the site where the Gdañsk stadium is being constructed. 'I must praise the city president and all the teams involved for an amazing project, not only of the stadium itself but also of the revitalisation of the neighbourhood where it's located,' said the UEFA head. 'The tournament lasts only three weeks, but the infrastructure will serve for 40-50 years. I know from experience that a project like this allows the whole city to develop.'
'When he went out on the deck from which the whole construction site can be seen, he only said "wow,"' said Mr Brandt.
Mr Platini then met with Lech Wa³êsa, who presented him with two photos from 1983, when Lechia Gdañsk met Juventus Torino, Mr Platini's team at the time.
In the afternoon, the UEFA head was in Poznañ.
'My congratulations, ' he told city president Ryszard Grobelny when they entered on the crown of the stadium-in-construc tion at Bu³garska Street.
The venue is Poland's most=2 0complex Euro 2012-related project.
'The decision what to do with Ukraine will be taken in December,' said Mr Platini. 'For now, we've decided that Euro 2012 can be organised on the Ukrainian side by Kyiv, though not the final match.'
He added that in the beginning it seemed that the two countries' organisational capacities were equal. 'In Poland everything is going as planned, in Ukraine things are less well. We have four months to decide what to do next,' said the UEFA head.
Mr Platini will visit the construction site in Wroc³aw today.
Beenhakker dismissed after Poland's World Cup dreams end DPA 9/10/09
Warsaw - Poland's coach Leo Beenhakker was dismissed late Wednesday after his side slumped to a 3-0 defeat in Slovenia, thereby all but ending any hopes the Poles had of qualifying for the World Cup finals in South Africa next year. The president of the Polish football association (PZPN) Grzegorz Lato had said after the match on television that the game against Slovenia was Beenhakker's last in charge.
"This was his last match. We must thank him," he said.
In the post match press conference the Dutchman seemed surprised by the decision.
"I take full responsibility for the results, but I wish the president had informed me personally, and not told the TV first. That shows more about him than about me. I intend to go out the front door with head held high."
Lato apologized Thursday for his statement, saying "pressure, stress, nerves" were to blame.
The Polish football association head said he would meet Beenhakker to settle final matters, and that the coach still had a contract until the end of qualifying rounds.
"I regret my words, which I said hotly, but I'm also a human and I want Poland to play in the World Cup," Lato told TVN 24. "I should have told him first, then told you journalists. "
Beenhakker had become the first foreigner to coach Poland in 2006 and had taken the side to the finals of the European Championships in 2008.
Lato praised the trainer Thursday for his work, but said that something had "burned out" between Beenhakker and his team.
"Mr Beenhakker did a heck of a job with Polish football ... You'll remember he lead Poland's historic entry into the European Championships, " Lato said at Warsaw's Okecie Airport after returning from Slovenia.
But Lato called Poland's 3-0 defeat "one of the weakest games by our representation in the last decade."
Lato said it was the "right time" for another trainer to prepare the Polish team for the Euro 2012 football championships, which Poland is co-hosting with Ukraine.
"It will for sure be a Polish coach," Lato added.
Their World Cup qualifying campaign has been disappointing though and with two matches left to play they are in fifth place in Group 3 and need a minor miracle to still finish second to at least qualify for the play-offs.
seems like a mistake to me.. he hasn't been on the job long enough to really get the team turned around.. we shall see though.. i hope it works out as i can't stand it when PL exits all the competitions n the first freaking round.. grrr..
Beenhakker sounds off on dismissal, Polish football DPA 9/11/09
Warsaw - Former Poland coach Leo Beenhakker said in an interview published on Friday he was shown little respect during his recent dismissal and that the country's football lagged behind Europe because of lack of progress in schooling and training. Ordinary elderly people had shown him more respect in his three years in Warsaw than his bosses, the Dutchman Beenhakker told the daily Rzeczpospolita.
Beenhakker was fired late Wednesday after his team's 3-0 defeat in Slovenia in what the Polish football association (PZPN) head called one of the "weakest games" for the team in a decade.
The loss to Slovenia shot down hopes that Poland would qualify for the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa.
But the coach said his players' kind words restored his faith in his work when news20came of his dismissal. He said none of the players spoke to a Polish football association (PZPN) official when he visited the locker room after the Slovenia match. Polish football supremo Grzegorz Lato had said after the match on television that the game against Slovenia was Beenhakker's last in charge.
Beenhakker said he learned of his dismissal from a TV news reporter.
"That shows more about him than about me," Beenhakker said at a press conference. "I intend to go out the front door with head held high."
Lato apologized Thursday, saying "pressure, stress, nerves" were to blame for his statements.
Beenhakker was the first foreigner to coach Poland in 2006 and took the team to the Euro 2008 finals.
Beenhakker said his work was a great pleasure until the Euro event and that he worked well with former football association head Michal Listkiewicz.
But he said things went downhill20when the association elected new leadership and people tried to manipulate him while offering little support to bring change in the sport.
Beenhakker said Polish football was stagnating while Europe and the rest of the world moved forward because they had proper training and football schooling. He said that Poland for instance still used a communist-era handbook from 1988 to school its trainers.
Beenhakker told Rzeczpospolita that he currently has no plans, but can't imagine life without football.
He called Poland a sleeping giant with just as much talent as in major footballing countries.
Most Polish Euro 2012 projects `progressing smoothly' Polish Market 2009-09-21
Most investment projects executed as part of preparations for UEFA EURO 2012 are progressing according to schedule – Adam Giersz, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Sports and Tourism has told the Polish Parliament in Warsaw. Only ten percent of these projects have been classified as critically threatened, with their completion before the UEFA Euro 2012 considered as unrealistic.
Despite the hard economic situation, seventy percent of projects are progressing smoothly, twenty percent are delayed but there is an acceleration program in place to complete them as scheduled. `Only ten percent of the tasks planned are so delayed that we will not be able to complete them on schedule. These, however, are not projects of especially high importance, and their absence will not affect the quality of preparations and may not be the basis for complications from UEFA' – said Adam Giersz.
There are no major problems involved in the construction of airspace infrastructure related to a significant increase in spectators' arrivals to Poland during the tournament. Investments in three main airports, Warsaw, Wrolaw and Poznan, are going as planned. There are both local and EU funds guaranteed to complete them.
At Gdansk Airport, the first stage of tenders to build the second taxiway and a new terminal have been concluded. In Poznan, design work is underway and technical documentation is being developed.
In land infrastructure, works on modernising the Warsaw East railway station are progressing on schedule, while some delays have emerged in the work on the Central Station, where the scope of work will be greatly reduced. On the other hand, Warsaw West station is critically delayed, and its construction will probably not be pursued. Poznan is also experiencing difficulties – no work has started on building a new train station and the integrated transportation center.
MPs were assured that work is underway on the construction of A1, A2 and A4 motorway sections and all those planned should be ready before June 2012.
Polish football fans call for "revolution" after World Cup defeat By Dominika Maslikowski DPA Oct 19, 2009
Warsaw - They've been called hooligans and terrorists by officials from Poland's football association PZPN.
But the football fans say they are fed up with corrupt PZPN leadership they claim is holding back Polish football and has led to humiliating defeats during a failed qualifying campaign for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
The End PZPN initiative has some 280,000 registered members on its website koniecpzpn.pl, and has already boycotted one qualifier against Slovakia that they say cost the association up to 20,000 ticket sales.
End PZPN wants delegates to give PZPN board members a vote of no confidence at their next meeting in December, which would lead to a free election for new association leaders.
Their website says it is no longer enough to chant, '(expletive) PZPN' during games, and calls for fans to band together and not let PZPN 'ruin Polish football and bring us shame.'
Fans say scandals and corruption are pushing sponsors away and halting the sport's development.
Anti-PZPN chants, laced with insults and curses, have been shouted for months from stadium stands.
But the anger isn't anything new, as fans have been for years frustrated with the association marred by scandals and corruption, said End PZPN founder Filip Gielecinski.
Most recently, Sports Minister Miroslaw Drzewiecki resigned on October 9 after allegations that he lobbied on behalf of gambling companies to block a law calling for higher taxes.
Meanwhile, more than 310 people have been detained in an ongoing corruption probe that has brought charges against referees, officials and members of the football federation.
But fans' tempers soared when PZPN dismissed coach Leo Beenhakker in September after a 3-0 defeat in Slovenia that ended any hopes the Poles had of qualifying for the World Cup.
The Dutch coach, who took Poland to the European championships in 2008, said he learned of his dismissal from a reporter. He later said the recently-elected PZPN leadership tried to manipulate him while offering little support to bring change in the sport.
'Beenhakker instilled in us that spirit that we can achieve great things, though we had no great stars,' Gielecinski told German Press Agency dpa. 'But what could he have done when PZPN officials made his life difficult at every step.'
The website was launched days after Beenhakker's dismissal by three football fans in Krakow.
'That was the moment when the frustration reached its zenith, and we fans started to speak with one voice and say we have had enough and we want changes,' Gielecinski said. 'And what's important is that we're getting support from more well-known people like Polish actors, TV producers and musicians.'
Sponsors are also slowly signing up or taking sides.
Bank BZ WBK recently pulled its ads from a stadium in Chorzow, southern Poland, during the World Cup qualifiers. The bank said in a statement it 'cannot be blind to the lack of understanding with football fans, to growing mutual aggression, on turning away and disregarding people who love football.'
PZPN head Grzegorz Lato said on Monday that a group will be formed in late October that will deal with relations with fans. Officials said they were not worried about losing sponsors.
But fans say the new PZPN leadership, which took power in October 2008, had a chance to rule for one year and fulfill its promises.
PZPN head Grzegorz Lato had called in his acceptance speech in 2008 for officials to work and make Polish football 'clear' of corruption.
But the End PZPN initiative says nothing has changed.
'We keep hearing about the next corruption case, the next arrests, and we've had enough,' Gielecinski said. 'It's time to do something about it.'
End PZPN does not rule out future boycotts, and hopes its membership will reach one million in time for PZPN's next meeting of delegates in December.
The initiative says it won't endorse anyone to avoid accusations that it's taking sides.
But they want people with a love of football who are also adapt at business to take over the 18-member board, Gielecinski said.
'It's possible because something is already crumbling at PZPN. One of them yesterday stepped up to resign,' Gielecinski said. 'I think if all fans, famous people and actors stand against the association, then something must change.'
Poles take enormous drop in FIFA ranking Poland have never had such a poor qualification run in years Written by Mika Jenssen PolishSOCA.com Saturday, 17 October 2009
ZURICH, Switzerland. Oct 17 — The Polish national team have taken an enormous drop from 36. to 56. in the latest ranking chart of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking. This ranking is the lowest since March 1998, when Poland was classified the worst in it's history at the 61. spot.
Poland did not win any of the last remaining four matches in the FIFA World Cup qualification. Instead they drew with Northern Ireland and lost to Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. As a result, they recorded the biggest fall in ranking history - Poland had never moved down more by 20 spots.
Currently they are between Burkina Faso and Finland. Given the statement of the rest of the teams from Europe Poland are 30 spots behind.
In the most recent ranking chart, Poland found itself among others such as Gabon, Latvia, Tunisia, Venezuela, Mali and Canada.
In March 1998 the Bialo-czerwoni were classified the lowest in it's history at 61. place, but were promoted in the following ranking update for the 55. spot. The highest ranking position the Poles occupied was in September 2007, when they were in 16. place.
In the top of the ranking order there has been no major changes. Brazil still leads, Spain in second and the Netherlands trailing in third. Russia fell out from the top '10', and Portugal returned to it after two matches won in World Cup qualifiying.
Out of Poland's World Cup qualifying rivals the Czech Republic remains the highest - at 15. place. While Slovakia recorded a big rise - from spot 45. to 33., who after their victory in Chorzow (1-0) first in their history qualified for a big football tournament.
In turn, from spot 26. Romania dropped to 36., the same team which Poland coach Stefan Majewski will meet in a friendly match on November 14.
************ ********* ********* ********* ** Poland looks back at disastrous campaign Poland has played its last competative match until 2012
Written by Henry Wizgier PolishSOCA.com Saturday, 17 October 2009
WARSAW, Poland. Oct 17 — Only 4,000 spectators bothered to turn up for the Slovakia game in Chorzow, and half of them were Slovaks. For Poland it was an academic match, one which was totally meaningless, but they had to get it over with.
And yet, exactly one year ago it wasn’t looking that bad. Despite having opened their qualification programme with a stuttering 1-1 draw at home to Slovenia, everyone remembered that the successful UEFA EURO 2008™ qualification had started with a 1-3 home defeat to Finland. Then after disposing of San Marino, Poland beat the Czechs 2-1 in front of 50,000 at the Slaski on 11 October – to go top of Group with 7 points from 3 games. Poland’s fourth game was away to Slovakia and when Ebi Smolarek scored in the 70th minute, at that stage of the game Poland were heading the group, four points clear of Slovakia and towards another FIFA World Cup™. But then it all went pear-shaped. Within one minute, that lead had been wiped out and turned into a 1-2 defeat as Sestak scored twice in the 85 and 86 minute. It was not because of any brilliant play by the Slovaks, but just sheer lack of concentration and sloppy Polish defending.
By the winter-break of 2008/2009 Slovakia were top of Group 3 with 9 points and Poland second on 7, and still looking good for qualification. Then things went pear-shaped again in Northern Ireland on 28 March 2009. But whereas in Bratislava the defence had fallen asleep for just one minute – in Belfast goalkeeper Artur Boruc decided to have a nightmare for the whole 90 minutes. And perhaps Leo Beenhakker was partly to blame for even allowing the Celtic goalie to play at all?
Ever since Boruc entered the religious hotbed that exists in Glasgow between Celtic and Rangers, he thought it was fun to wind up the Protestant bigots among the blues fans. He regularly crossed himself in front of them and in August 2006 he was cautioned by the Glasgow police after he had added a two-fingered sign and other obscene gestures, to his usual crossings and blessings. This incensed the whole crowd and it took the police and security some time to restore order.
Now everyone in the world has heard about the sectarian rivalry between the Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland, which has resulted in thousands of deaths. In Belfast, Protestant fans follow Glasgow Rangers, so the game against Poland was a god-sent opportunity for them to vent their anger at Boruc. And this wasn’t helped by the behaviour of some Polish fans who had come to cause trouble.
The hostility in the stadium before the game was very evident and Northern Ireland manager Nigel Worthington felt the Polish players were affected by it: “All their team were intimidated by the atmosphere,” he told the press afterwards.
But the main target for the Protestant anger – was Boruc. He had even received death threats and there’s no doubt it must have affected his performance. How else can his mis-judgement of a cross to the far-post for the first Irish goal, and then mis-kicking a straightforward back-pass from Zewlakow which resulted in Northern Ireland’s winner, be explained? The game was surely too important to take a chance with him in this situation – and those two mistakes ended up costing Poland three points.
Ironically, Poland were given yet another respite when they registered a massive 10-0 win against San Marino after rivals for the runner-up spot Slovenia faltered again, managing only a 0-0 draw at home to Czech Republic. And there seemed to be no apparent signs of the imminent collapse when Poland beat Greece 2-0 in a warm-up August friendly, either.
However the main rivals for that second ticket to South Africa were Northern Ireland, Poland’s next opponents in the more favourable setting of the Slaski Stadium. This was the do-or-die game and taking the un-naturally volatile situation of Belfast aside, form suggested that the Ulstermen were no world-beaters. They had been held at home by the Czechs, lost away to Slovenia and their subsequent results and failure to qualify, confirmed this.
But it was during this encounter that the Polish national team, and manager, seem to have lost the plot – and their chances of qualifying They had been capable of beating teams like the Czech Republic and Greece, and had only lost their two qualifying matches through a couple of defensive errors, and a disastrous performance by a goalkeeper who should not have been there on the day.
These things happen in football and can all be explained, but the inept and heartless performance against Northern Ireland in Chorzow, when there was still a very good chance of qualifying for South Africa, is hard to explain. It harks back to the terrible years of the 90’s, when the Polish national side seemed to find qualification for a major football tournament, an insurmountable obstacle.
Poland did not so much fail to qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ Finals in South Africa, as threw the opportunity away. Now questions have to be asked – how and why?
In Kiev today, UEFA, Soccer Association, presented the official logo of Soccer Championships 2012 in Poland and Ukraine. 3 flowers: a football and 2 in national colours. The design is based on folklore motifs popular in both countries.
See a nice cartoon film about the creation of the logo
Krakow‘s revenge after Wroclaw 2012 stadium delay? 08.01.2010 07:34
Krakow may host the European Football Championships in 2012 instead of Wroclaw after continued delays in construction of the stadium in the Lower Silesian capital.
Wroclaw authorities sacked construction company Mostostal last week after it was revealed to be weeks behind schedule. On Wednesday, the mayor of Wroclaw announced that Mostostal will leave the building site in a month and a half but assured that the stadium will still be ready for EURO 2012.
However, it usually takes at least three months to remove all building machines from a site, which means that the delay in the construction of the stadium may even be longer. Additionally, Mostostal has appealed the Wroclaw authority’s decision and claims several million zloty in compensation for breaking the contract.
As a result, UEFA - the European football governing body - may deprive Wroclaw of the right to host EURO 2012 matches and grant it to Krakow, which lost out in the original bidding for the matches.
Krakow is on the UEFA reserve list and has already started preparing itself to organize the championships. (mg/pg)
UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying draw took place in Warsaw Hugollek
In the Congress Hall (Polish: Sala Kongresowa) of Warsaw Palace of Culture and Science (Polish: Pałac Kultury i Nauki) the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying draw took place on Sunday. European teams will play their games at Polish and Ukrainian stadiums. Poland and Ukraine as host teams don’t have to participate in qualifications. You are able to see the qualifying groups of Euro 2012 here below: Group A
Germany Turkey Austria Belgium Kazakhstan Azerbaijan
Russia Slovakia Ireland Macedonia Armenia Andorra
Italy Serbia Northern Ireland Slovenia Estonia Faroe Islands
France Romania Bosnia and Herzegovina Belarus Albania Luxembourg
The Netherlands Sweden Finland Hungary Moldavia San Marino
UEFA may add more sites of EURO 2012 matches to Poland 13.05.2010 14:39 If Ukraine does not manage to prepare on time to co-host EURO 2012 there is a possibility that more planned matches will be played in Poland - said the UEFA's tournament operating officer Martin Kallen after visiting the four Polish venues of the tournament.
Poland and Ukraine are scheduled to provide four stadiums each for the tournament with the opening game of the Euro 2012 to be played in Warsaw and the final in Kiev. In an recent interview for the German Football Federation this week UEFA chief Michel Platini has threatened to take away the four sites from Ukraine and move two to Poland and two to Germany or Hungary.
Martin Kallen, the tournament operating officer, during his tour of the Polish venues of the event did confirm, however, that if Ukraine does not manage to prepare on time there is a possibility that more matches will be played in Poland. According to UEFA official, a possible change would not mean that Krakow or Chorzow would be added to the list of host cities. Rather, the matches could be played on six venues, including two in Ukraine.
The city of Poznan has opened the first Polish stadium for EURO 2012. It may hold 42.000 people:
The stadium in Poznan hosting the Sting concert tonight is the first to be ready for the Euro 2012 football championships, to be co-hosted by Poland and Ukraine.
The stadium has an Elite Class certificate, the highest granted by UEFA. The inaugural game in Poznan is scheduled for November 17.
Director Olkowicz said he is looking forward to the imminent decision of European football authorities regarding the final number of Polish and Ukrainian cities engaged in the EURO tournament games, voicing hope the original concept of four cities in both co-host countries will be retained by UEFA. Its special commission will be evaluating the state of preparations on Tuesday.
Adam Olkowicz also stressed the efforts of Polish organizers to propagate the idea of EURO 2012 through a series of artistic and literary competitions addressed primarily at children and youth. A drawing contest devoted to the European championships has already been announced on the website of the Polish Football Association (PZPN).
;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D Two kicked out of national side after boozy argument 22.09.2010 11:45
Two members of the Poland’s national football team have been kicked out of the squad after an alcohol-fuelled row in a hotel after the recent match with Australia.
“As long as I’m a coach, they will not play in the national team again,” said coach Franciszek Smuda, who decided to expel Maciej Iwanski (Legia Warszawa FC) and Slawomir Peszko (Lech Poznan FC) from the national team and Euro 2012 Championships.
After Poland lost their recent home match with Australia, the team had beers in a hotel bar and afterwards eight to twelve of them started an alcohol-fuelled party in Iwanski’s room. At 0.004 CET in the morning, Iwanski together with Peszko started making a noise in the hotel corridor and offended the coach’s assistant Jacek Zielinski, who had tried to calm them down.
Coach Smuda decided to take drastic steps.
“When I took over the team I said that I would not be as forgiving as [former coach] Leo Benhakker, who expelled people from the team and then brought them back,” said Smuda. “I have worked with Iwanski and Peszko before I became the national team’s coach so they know me and are aware that I don’t forgive such things. They must have gone mad,” he told Gazeta Wyborcza.
On Friday, Franciszek Smuda will announce who will replace Iwanski and Peszko for October’s matches with the US and Ecuador. Peszko will probably be replaced by Kamil Grosicki from Jagiellonia Bialystok FC and Iwanski by Ludovic Obraniak, who has recently been injured.
Lech Poznan advance in Europa League after Juventus draw 02.12.2010 09:01 Before and after the blizzard, Left Artjoms Rudnevs scores for Lech Poznan; below, players celebrate victory in the snow. photos - PAP/Adam Ciereszko UPDATED - After a battle in a blizzard, Lech Poznan drew with Juventus 1 -1, Wednesday night, to advance to the last 16 of the Europa League.
It was revealed Thursday morning that Juventus tried to cancel the match, arguing that the snow and icy conditions favoured the Polish side.
The Turin club pleaded with UEFA officials to either delay the match by one day or for them to come back on December 8 in the hope conditions would improve. Both suggestions were rejected.
Coming into the match, the Polish side needed a win or a draw. Juventus had to win.
The side from Turin were not only up against Lech - a team which European competition seems to inspire to greater heights than they have reached in the domestic Ekstraklasa league this season, where their form has been indifferent.
The Italians also had to battle 40,000 Lech fans, plus, half way through the first half, driving snow, with temperatures dipping to minus 15 degrees centigrade.
The referee introduced orange footballs at half time as the normal white ball had begun to disappear in the snow. Players sported gloves, leggings, caps and even snoods in an attempt to keep out the bitter cold.
Lech got off to the ideal start when Latvian Artjoms Rudņevs headed home a corner after 12 minutes.
What followed was a grim battle of attrition, with Juventus pushing forward and Lech Poznan looking to counter attack on the break. But as a blizzard swept across the Miejski stadium, both sides made little progress.
When Juventus did get a chance on goal they scorned it. On the 70th minute, Del Piero headed wide 10 metres from goal and clear of his marker. Chances after that were few for the Italian side.
Finally, Juve broke through on the right and Vicenzo Iaquinta slotted home on the edge of the penalty area to set up a frantic last seven minutes.
After some desperate defending and as a carpet of snow covered the pitch, the referee blew for time, sending Lech Poznan into the knock out stage of the competition.
In the other match in Group A, Manchester City beat Salzburg 3 - 0, which means the English club join Lech in the next round.