World of Football

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Under threat minister restores PZPN board

Under the suspension threat from FIFA, Poland’s Minister of Sport Tomasz Lipiec restored the governing board of Poland’s embattled PZPN national football union to power on Monday.

Lipiec suspended the PZPN board and appointed a commissioner to supervise the Polish union earlier in January of this year arguing the PZPN board had done nothing to stem wide-spread corruption prevalent in all Polish leagues.

International football authorities FIFA and UEFA refused to recognise the move, sharply criticizing the Polish government for interfering with the PZPN’s independence.

Fresh elections are planned for later this year to replace the current PZPN board. Observers from the Polish presidential chancellery, the ministry of sport as well as both FIFA and UEFA are expected to supervise the process.

The government-appointed commissioner will continue to supervise the existing PZPN governing board until it is replaced.

FIFA President Joseph Blatter was due to meet with Polish President Lech Kaczynski later Monday to discuss the challenges faced by the Polish federation.

Sports Minister Lipiec moved in January to introduce a commissioner to run the PZPN amidst a wide-spread criminal probe in which dozens of referees, club owners and players have been charged with corruption.

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