Sport minister: Polish football board suspension won't affect Euro

Warsaw  - Poland's plans to co-host Euro 2012 are not in danger, Sports Minister Miroslaw Drzewiecki said on Tuesday after the leadership of the Polish football federation (PZPN) was suspended by an arbitration court of the nation's Olympic Committee (PKOL).

"The Euro will be in four years, and everything that must be done for the Euro we'll prepare in time and quality," Drzewiecki told a radio show on Tuesday.

The court appointed Robert Zawlocki temporary head of the PZPN on Monday after a motion from the sports ministry which has long been dissatisfied with the PZPN's handling of corruption in Polish football.

Zawlocki, who formerly was a member of the PZPN disciplinary committee, then suspended PZPN boss Michel Listkiewicz and the rest of the board.

Zawlocki said the decision was motivated by "continuous and glaring breaches" of PZPN statutes that endangered functions of the organization. A 40-page document lists all the infringements, Zawlocki said.

He also postponed the elections of the PZPN board, originally set for October 30, until "order was restored."

A similar government intervention last year drew harsh criticism from the world governing body FIFA, which does not shy away from suspending football federations in the case of political interference.

The action on Monday came four days after the European body UEFA confirmed that Poland and Ukraine will remain hosts of the Euro 2012 tournament despite concerns in areas such as stadium construction and general infrastructure.

Zawlocki has reportedly written to UEFA boss Michel Platini that the suspension of the leadership will not harm the Euro preparations, in which Listkiewicz will continue to be involved.

UEFA must consult with FIFA about the situation, UEFA spokesman William Gaillard told the Polish Press Agency.

Polish football has been plagued by corruption in recent years, with more than 20 clubs, referees, federation and club officials as well as players allegedly involved in fixing schemes. (dpa)


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