Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Former Polish football boss takes stand in corruption case

Former head of the Polish football federation (PZPN) Michal Listkiewicz took the stand on Tuesday as a witness in an ongoing investigation into corruption in the sport.

Listkiewicz said he'd answered 'honestly' after about an hour on the stand in a Wroclaw court. He did not give details about the proceedings.

'I answered all the questions honestly and frankly, because I'm truthful,' Listkiewicz said.

The Polish football federation voted in Grzegorz Lato in October as its new head, as Listkiewicz stepped down amid the investigation.

Listkiewicz said he didn't know about corruption while he headed PZPN, and had no contact with Ryszard F., or 'The Hairdresser,' the alleged leader of the corruption ring.

Lato has called on officials to work and make Polish football 'clear' of corruption, 'so that we could together make Euro 2012 our shared success.' Poland is to host the 2012 event together with Ukraine.

Football governing bodies FIFA and UEFA had threatened Poland with sanctions unless the government allowed the federation to elect a new leader.

The investigation into corruption in Polish football was launched in May 2005, and so far has charged more than 100 people that include referees, officials and members of the football federation.