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UPDATE: Poland fires football coach Czesław Michniewicz

22.12.2022 14:30
Poland’s football association PZPN has said it will not be renewing the contract of national team coach Czesław Michniewicz, which expires on December 31.
Czesław Michniewicz
Czesław MichniewiczPAP/EPA/Ronald Wittek

The PZPN announced the decision on its website on Thursday, Polish state news agency PAP reported.

“PZPN would like to announce that from December 31, 2022, Czesław Michniewicz will no longer be Poland’s national team coach,” a statement said. 

It added that Michniewicz "had held several meetings" with PZPN chief Cezary Kulesza "over the past week" as they discussed Poland’s showing at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. 

"After analysing all the information thoroughly, PZPN has decided not to renew Czesław Michniewicz’s contract, which runs until the end of the year,” officials said. 

'Difficult decision'

Kulesza told reporters: “The PZPN board would like to place on record our heartfelt thanks to Czesław Michniewicz for his eleven-month tenure as Poland’s national team coach."

The Polish football chief added that, even though Michniewicz "took over the Polish side at a very difficult juncture,” he "guided the Polish team to the World Cup finals, kept us in Nations League A, and led Poland to the knockout stages of the World Cup, for the first time in 36 years."

"For this, Czesław Michniewicz should be thanked," Kulesza stated.

He went on to say: “However, to properly assess the coach’s performance, we also had to take into account other key factors, such as the long-term plan for the national team and the direction of its development. And so, after numerous meetings and analyses, we have made the difficult decision of terminating our cooperation.”

He added: “We wish Czesław Michniewicz further success in his coaching career.” 

Michniewicz oversaw 13 Poland matches, registering five wins, three draws and five defeats, the meczyki.pl website reported.

While key objectives were met, the coach came under fire from some, including Kulesza, for what was described as his "overly defensive" tactics, according to news outlets.

Search for new coach 

Kulesza said that “the search for a new national team coach will begin shortly.”

He added that Michniewicz’s successor must ensure that “the national team will grow and meet its targets,” as well as “improve the team’s image and regain the trust of the fans.” 

Kulesza wouldn’t be drawn on when the new national coach would be announced, but said that the appointment represented “a priority” for the PZPN, the PAP news agency reported. 

Those touted as possible replacements for Michniewicz include Saudi Arabia coach Hervé Renard, ex-Switzerland boss Vladimir Petković, and outgoing Belgium coach Roberto Martinez, according to meczyki.pl.     

Poland start their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign with an away game against the Czech Republic on March 24. 


Source: pzpn.pl, PAP, meczyki.pl