Monday, June 09, 2008

Another arrest in Polish football corruption probe

Polish security forces on Wednesday arrested another football person on suspicion of corruption, according to the PAP news agency the son of former national team coach Jerzy Engel.

The news coincided with the publication in Germany of an interview with former goalkeeper legend Jan Tomaszewski, who told Germany's Sport Bild weekly that "Poland is the most corrupt country in the football world."

It also comes at a time of allegedly growing fear amid the European body UEFA whether Poland and Ukraine were really fit to host Euro 2012.

Jerzy Engel Jr. was reportedly the man arrested by anti-corruption forces. He is a coach with clubs including Polonia Warsaw and third division Radomiak. Engel tried in vain to become assistant of national team coach Leo Beenhakker, who is with the team at Euro 2008.

Poland has been plagued by corruption in football with more 120 persons arrested since 2005. Referees, coaches and players have been accused of fixing matches and accepting bribes, with justice minister Zbigniew Cwiakalski 29 clubs involved in the illegal schemes.

While Beenhakker said that he will try to keep the issue away from the Euro team, Tomaszewski was not so sure, saying that players would read about the corruption in every paper.

Tomaszewski urged UEFA boss Michel Platini to take drastic action and punish all those responsible. He called for a new football leadership in the country and even said that Poland should be stripped of Euro 2012 if no measures are taken.

"If nothing happens he should take away Euro 2012 from us," Tomaszewski told Sport Bild.