Monday, April 21, 2008

Beenhakker says match-fixing scandal could impact his future as Poland coach

Leo Beenhakker is worried the match-fixing scandal that has shaken Polish soccer could impact his future as coach of the national team.

"Everybody who is part of Polish football will recognize of course that it's a very bad situation," Beenhakker told reporters Wednesday. "I'm very concerned about the consequences of all this in relation with the future of Polish football, and of course the future of Polish football is for the moment also my future."

Prosecutors in Wroclaw launched an investigation in 2005 into corruption in Polish soccer. So far, authorities have charged 117 people - including federation members, coaches, referees, players and club officials - with rigging matches in the top domestic leagues. Twenty-nine clubs have been implicated.

Facing significant public and political pressure, Polish soccer federation president Michal Listkiewicz said Sunday the organization's governing board will resign Sept. 14.

Listkiewicz, who hired Beenhakker in July 2007 as the first foreigner to coach the national side, also said he would not run for another term.

Beenhakker praised Listkiewicz for two "perfect" years of co-operation, and said he didn't know whether he can have the same good working relationship with the next man in charge.

"So in that way I also don't have my future very clear as a consequence of this whole situation," he said.

Still, Beenhakker stressed that he wants to stay on as Poland coach, but that he has "to wait for decisions that will come in (the) next weeks and months."

Beenhakker also noted the scandal could disrupt preparations for the European Championship in June, and vowed to try to keep his team isolated from the controversy.