Men's National Team

PZPN Sack Michniewicz After last-16 World Cup Exit

Michniewicz will no longer be Poland's selekcjoner / Getty
PZPN Sack Michniewicz After last-16 World Cup Exit

WARSAW, Poland. December 22 (Reuters) – Poland coach Czeslaw Michniewicz will leave at the end of the month, with the country’s FA (PZPN) saying on Thursday it will not renew his contract after the team’s last-16 2022 FIFA World Cup exit.

The PZPN said Michniewicz, 52, had several meetings with its president Cezary Kulesza and other officials to review Poland’s performance at the tournament in Qatar, where they lost 3:1 to eventual runners-up France in the first knockout round.

“After a thorough analysis of all the information, PZPN decided not to extend Michniewicz’s contract, which expires at the end of the year,” the PZPN said in a statement.

Kulesza thanked Michniewicz for his 11 months of work as Poland’s selekcjoner.

Poland appointed the ex-Legia Warsaw boss after parting ways in January with Portuguese Paulo Sousa, who asked to be relieved of his duties in December 2021 after less than a year in charge.

“As we know, the coach (Michniewicz) took over the team at a difficult moment,” Kulesza said. “Despite these circumstances, he managed to earn qualification to the World Cup, and also kept (the team’s) place in the Nations League elite.

“He also led the national team to the first World Cup knockout stage in 36 years. For this, Michniewicz deserves thanks.”

Poland drew 0:0 with Mexico, beat Saudi Arabia 2:0 and lost by the same scoreline to eventual champions Argentina in Group C before falling to France in the last 16.

The PZPN said it would begin its search for his successor soon as they prepare for the European Championship qualifiers which start in March. Poland have been drawn with Albania, the Faroe Islands, Moldova and the Czech Republic in Group E.

“We want the team to be led … by a coach who guarantees its development and achievement of goals,” Kulesza said.

“The new coach must also improve the image of the team and rebuild the trust of fans. Our choice must be well thought out, so we will not give specific dates for presenting the coach.”

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