Polish FA chief faces revolt over graft

Updated: 29 March 2012 10:51 IST

The boss of Poland's PZPN football association Grzegorz Lato on Wednesday faced mounting calls to step down, with rebels mustering support to force him from the job even as Euro 2012 looms.

Polish FA chief faces revolt over graft

Warsaw:

The boss of Poland's PZPN football association Grzegorz Lato on Wednesday faced mounting calls to step down, with rebels mustering support to force him from the job even as Euro 2012 looms.


Opponents critical of the iconic former international footballer's management style since he was elected head of PZPN in 2008 have stepped up their fight following a corruption scandal in which he denies any involvement.

The PZPN board is scheduled to meet on Thursday, when 61-year-old Lato's opponents hope to push through a resolution to call an extraordinary congress that could oust him.

They need a two-thirds majority on the board, 12 votes, to oust him.

"We have 10 votes for sure, out of the 17 on the board. Four people are wavering. The tug of war is ongoing," Kazimierz Gren, who heads the local football association in the southwestern Carpathian region, told Poland's PAP news agency.

The former Polish international, who was capped over 100 times and starred in three World Cups where Poland finished third in 1974 and 1982 - was elected in 2008 on the principle he was seen as capable of turning the page after the PZPN congress axed the association's former leadership, which had been under government pressure over corruption.

Gren, who helped run his successful election campaign, later fell out with Lato over his alleged failure to shake things up and a lack of transparency.

He said he wanted the board to publish the votes to hold the members to account, and that he rated the rebels' chance of success.

"You can see with the naked eye that there isn't just a smack crack, but a great big one. The concrete's crumbling," he said.

"Concrete" is Polish jargon for an old guard, coined by opponents of the apparatchiks who ruled the roost until the communist regime fell in 1989.

But board member Zbigniew Lach said he did not believe it would vote to call a congress as Poland and neighbouring Ukraine brace to hold the European championships in June.

"It would be a disgrace for Polish football," he warned.

The revolt has been rumbling since November, when a leaked recording linked to a purported bribery attempt led to the sacking of the PZPN secretary general, Zdzislaw Krecina, who had been at the association since the 1980s.



Topics : Football Alou Diarra Lech Poznan
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