Saturday, November 01, 2008

Taxmen tackle Polish Football Federation

Tax authorities in Poland seized some 10 million zlotys (2.5 million euro, 3.2 million dollars) in unpaid taxes from Poland’s troubled PZPN football federation, a tax official here said Monday.

"The official notification of the seizure (of outstanding taxes) was served today," Agnieszka Zukowska said.

At issue are unpaid taxes from income the PZPN received in broadcast fees for the retransmission of football matches on television. Revenue authorities discovered the unpaid taxes on the sums during an audit lasting from 2006 to April 2008.

"It is less than 10 million zlotys. The decision is legally binding," Zukowska told TVN24. According to Polish media reports, revenue authorties seized around nine million zlotys from PZPN coffers.

The tax debacle comes just three days before the Polish federation is set to elect a new leadership and a week after senior PZPN officials suspected of corruption faced criminal charges.

On Friday the world football authority FIFA confirmed the Polish federation’s leadership elections would go ahead on Thursday, October 30th, despite "civil and criminal investigations" against PZPN leaders.

Polish prosecutors on Thursday charged Poland’s former national team manager Janusz Wojcik with 11 counts of corruption in a vast corruption probe of the PZPN involving 160 individuals including referees and clubs from various leagues.

Prosecutors have also pressed charges against PZPN Secretary-General Zdzislaw Krecina, one of the four candidates standing in the body’s leadership race on October 30.

Krecina is accused of having transferred 320,000 zlotys (88,800 euros, 116,500 dollars) to a club’s bank account in 2006 even though the money had been frozen by the tax authorities.