WARSAW, Poland. January 18 (PSN) – Jerzy Brzeczek was sacked as Poland national team coach on Monday despite helping the team qualify for UEFA EURO 2020.
The 49-year-old Brzeczek extended his contract last November after helping Poland finish top of their qualifying group for the European Championship, which will be held this year after being postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to PZPN president Zbigniew Boniek, Brzeczek couldn’t handle the pressure put on him by fans and was overwhelmed by it. The former Wisla Plock coach faced heavy criticism after a humiliating defeat to Slovenia and a home draw to Austria in the country’s UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying campaign. In the end, he did manage to get Poland back on track with two final wins over Latvia and North Macedonia, as Poland eventually qualified for the competition. However, this wasn’t enough to convince the media and fans who were still very critical with how the team played under him.
For Boniek, he knew it was time for a change.
The decision to sack Brzeczek was very much shrouded in secrecy, with only Boniek and PZPN secretary general Maciej Sawicki knowing about the dismissal. No one else within the PZPN was aware of it, nor were the players. All of them later found out about the news the same time as fans did – through the internet when the news finally broke.
Brzeczek himself had no idea either, as he traveled to Spain over the weekend to oversee a Poland national team youth camp. On Monday he returned back to Poland where he was asked to meet Boniek in private.
“I invited Jerzy Brzeczek to my house, we had a coffee and I told him the news,” Boniek told Sport.pl.
As for the timing of the sacking, Boniek originally planned to make the call since November, but ultimately decided against it as to not rush into it. December was also not a month where he wanted to fire the former Wisla Plock coach, instead opting to delay things until after the holidays.
“It’s a sad day for me, but I take the responsibility for this decision. I have thought about it and I must do what is good for the team.”
Brzeczek had been in charge of Poland since July 2018.
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