Soccer federation in Poland suspended for lack of oversight


Wed, Oct 01, 2008 - Page 20

Polish soccer faced its latest crisis on Monday after the national federation was suspended by its court-appointed chief for allegedly failing to tackle corruption in the domestic league.

The move raised further questions about Poland’s ability to co-host the 2012 European Championship with Ukraine.

The governing board of the Polish Football Federation was suspended after a ruling by the Poland Olympic Committee’s arbitration court. The court named Robert Zawlocki as temporary chief of the federation in response to a critical motion submitted by the Ministry of Sport.

Zawlocki, a lawyer who once worked for the federation’s disciplinary committee, announced he had suspended the current board and canceled elections for Oct. 30 to choose the federation’s new leadership.

The vote will take place once “order was restored” in the organization, Zawlocki said.

Minister of Sport Miroslaw Drzewiecki said that a probe into the federation’s functioning has found “numerous violations” of the general law and of the federation regulations.

He said the probe showed that the composition of the governing body was not in accordance with the regulations, while the board has also failed to keep its own promise to hold an extraordinary electoral convention and has failed to take efficient steps to fight corruption.

All these violations “prove an inability by the board to run the federation efficiently and to carry out their duties,” Drzewiecki said.

“Taking into consideration the scope and the nature of the violations ... the minister was obliged to ... move for a suspension” of the governing board and to ask for a temporary manager to be appointed, Drzewiecki said.