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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Polish football chief ‘furious’ over turf at National Stadium

21.11.2019 15:00
The head of the Polish Football Association is “furious but helpless” at the state of the turf at Poland’s National Stadium in Warsaw, a newspaper has reported.
Zbigniew Boniek
Zbigniew Boniek PAP/Leszek Szymański

The Gazeta Wyborcza daily asked Zbigniew Boniek, a famous former Poland player, about the pitch following the national squad’s 3-2 win against Slovenia in its final Euro 2020 qualifier on Tuesday.

The slippery pitch and holes in the turf during the game drew criticism from footballers and officials, with fears voiced that players could sustain a injury.

Gazeta Wyborcza quoted Boniek as saying: “The poor condition of the turf in Warsaw is nothing new to us … We’re furious but helpless.”

“If the National Stadium is a business, entertainment, shopping and sports centre, if concerts, ice rinks, fairs are organised there, and the turf is laid down a few days before a match, then it’s hardly surprising that it’s difficult to play football on it,” Boniek lamented.

He added that he understood the head of the company which manages the stadium.

“He has to squeeze the maximum profits out of the National Stadium. It’s the politicians who need to make a decision to determine what this stadium is primarily intended for. If it’s for earning money, then of course the good of the national team becomes of secondary importance.”

Boniek was asked by Gazeta Wyborcza if it was true that, after the Slovenia match, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki promised Poland’s star striker Robert Lewandowski the national team would no longer have to play on such a bad pitch.

Boniek replied: “Please don't quote nonsense from the internet. I took the prime minister myself to the locker room after the match. There were jokes about the state of pitch, but the prime minister promised nothing and Robert demanded nothing.”

(pk/gs)

Source: Gazeta Wyborcza