Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

April 29, 2008

The President of the Polish FA visits FIFA

Filed under: Poland — Ivan @ 2:29 am

Michal Listkiewicz, the President of the Polish FA, visited FIFA on Monday 28 April 2008 and was accompanied by Professor Micha? Kleiber, advisor to the President of the Republic of Poland. They discussed various topics with FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter, Jérôme Champagne, FIFAs Director of International Relations, as well as Member Associations Director, Urs Kluser.

After their fruitful meeting, Michal Listkiewicz spoke briefly to FIFA.com.

FIFA.com: What was the purpose of your visit today?
Michal Listkiewicz: We had meetings with the FIFA President, because the Polish FA elections are taking place soon. We had some trouble last year, which was solved with the big help of the FIFA President and President Lech Kaczy?ski. With the next elections coming up, we wanted to study the situation and to plan our activities until 14 September, the day of the assembly. We agreed that we should supervise the process because there are also regional elections. And FIFA together with the independent electoral committee will supervise things, to be sure that the process is democratic and according to the statutes.

On the pitch, UEFA EURO 2008 is coming soon. How do you rate Poland’s in a group which contains Germany, Croatia and Austria?
We are very optimistic. It’s a very difficult group, but our big dream is to beat Germany, because we’ve never done it before. It’s the first time for us in the EURO Finals, so this is already a big success. Now we want to qualify for the knockout phase. Our coach Leo Beenhakker is very determined and very professional, and we know that we are playing for millions of Poles, who will be going to Austria and Switzerland or watching the games on TV. Of course, we’re not expecting to be the European Champions, but it’s possible. But the first goal is to qualify from the group and play in Switzerland.

Wlodzimierz Smolarek, the father [of current striker Ebi], who was our hero in 1982, will be our Ambassador in our delegation, together with Grzegorz Lato and Zbigniew Boniek. So we’re taking three world class players with us, unfortunately their playing days are over!

At the moment, we’ve got a few problems as our top players are not always included in the first 11 at their respective clubs. Before the EURO, we’ve got three friendlies, one of whom is against Albania, who we were happy to help following their recent suspension.

Poland is co-host of EURO 2012. How are the preparations going?
We had some problems because of the political problems, but we got a wake up call from UEFAs President Michel Platini. Now everything is going well and the host cities are working very hard. We hope that we will be playing in six Polish cities and six Ukrainian cities. The decision was four in each, but we hope to be playing in six.

You had a quite successful team at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada last year, reaching the Round of 16. Are you hoping to build on this talent for 2012?
We have some talented players in the 18 to 20 age group and hopefully we will have a very strong team in 2012. In Canada, we beat Brazil, but now all our attentions are focused on beating Germany iat the EUROs.

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