OFFICIAL: Michniewicz contract not renewed

(Photo by ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP via Getty Images)

In a statement issued at Thursday lunchtime, the PZPN have confirmed that Czesław Michniewicz cease to be the coach of the Poland national team when his contract expires on 31st December. The search for his replacement will now begin, ahead of the beginning of the Euro 2024 Qualifying campaign in March.

The PZPN informed last week that they would not be exercising their option to extend the contract of the Selekcjoner. After a further meeting on Thursday morning, the association confirmed they were to begin the search for a new coach.

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

The PZPN President, Cezary Kulesza, then continued: “On behalf of the board of PZPN, we would like to thank Czesław Michniewicz for 11 months of work as a coach. As we know, the coach took over the team at a very difficult time. Despite these circumstances, he managed to win promotion to the World Cup, and also kept his place in the League of Nations’ elite group. He also led the national team to the first World Cup knockout stage in 36 years. For this, Czesław Michniewicz deserves thanks.”

Despite those successes, Michniewicz’s short tenure as national team coach became littered with scandal and poor performances. The style of football displayed at the World Cup in Qatar left a lot to be desired, while, at the same time, a scandal about government-issued bonuses and a fall-out with members of the team’s staff is said to have lost him a significant amount of respect from the players.

The PZPN’s attention now turns to who will replace Michniewicz in the hot seat.

We want the national team to be led by a coach who guarantees its development and achievement of the assumed goals“, emphasised President Kulesza. “The new coach must also improve the image of the national team and rebuild the trust of the fans. Our choice must be well thought out, so we will not declare specific dates of the selector’s presentation. At the same time, we assure you that the selection of a new coach is a priority for the board of the PZPN.

Polish coach Maciej Skorża was reportedly on the shortlist, before ruling himself out of the running, whilst Andrij Shevchenko and Herve Renard are amongst the early favourites.

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