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Many successes, but more work ahead in Polish football: Boniek

PR dla Zagranicy
Grzegorz Siwicki 26.10.2017 16:25
There have been many successes, but a lot still remains to be done in Polish football, said Zbigniew Boniek, a former top Polish player, as he summed up the past year in his role as head of the Polish Football Association (PZPN).
Zbigniew Boniek (right) during the annual general meeting of Poland's football association in Warsaw on Thursday. Photo: PAP/Bartłomiej ZborowskiZbigniew Boniek (right) during the annual general meeting of Poland's football association in Warsaw on Thursday. Photo: PAP/Bartłomiej Zborowski

Speaking at the association’s annual general meeting in Warsaw on Thursday, the former Poland international compared football to a house that is never fully finished because there is always something that can be improved.

In October last year, Boniek secured a second consecutive four-year term as PZPN head with an overwhelming majority of votes.

"We have built up the authority of Polish football, and this takes knowledge, an ability to spend money and good management,” he said in Warsaw on Thursday, praising the association’s “entire management board as well as provincial associations, clubs and others."

But "there is still a lot left to be improved,” he added.

He also said that the association enjoys the public’s trust, as reflected by a small number of journalists in the room. "In the old days, PZPN general meetings would attract some 120 delegates and 240 journalists, while now there are no more than seven to eight journalists, which means they have confidence in us," he quipped.

Poland aims to host U-20 World Cup

Boniek confirmed reports that Poland would make a bid to host the U-20 World Cup in 2019, a championship for male players under the age of 20 organised by the sport’s world governing body FIFA. The Polish Football Association wants to host the event when it marks its 100 years in existence in 2019.

This year Poland hosted the UEFA European Under-21 Championship, a competition for players under 21 held by football’s European governing body, UEFA, Boniek added.

'We have a team'

He also praised Poland’s senior national football squad, which, managed by Adam Nawałka, has qualified for the 2018 World Cup in Russia after finishing top of its qualifying group.

“We have a team, we have the skills, the intelligence, the strength to fight with everyone as equals,” Boniek said. “Of course, in sports there are times when there are defeats at different levels be it national or club-level football, but all that only strengthens us. We have to move forward.”

Sixty-one-year-old Boniek is a former football star, with an 80-cap career for the Polish national team.

He played in three consecutive World Cup tournaments, in 1978, 1982 and 1986. In 1985, he won the European Cup playing for Italy's Juventus Turin club.

In early April this year, Boniek was elected to the UEFA Executive Committee during its 41st Ordinary Congress in Helsinki.


Source: PAP

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