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Sports

Poland Wants FIFA to Drop Ultimatum in Football Federation Row

Poland has demanded football's world governing body FIFA drop a Monday deadline for the reinstatement of the suspended national football federation (PZPN) in a row which could threaten its hosting of the 2012 Euro.

Poland goalie Artur Boruc practices during an official training session

Soccer in Poland has been plagued with corruption

Talks between the government and officials of the deposed football management board on a compromise solution were broken off in Warsaw on Friday evening, Oct. 3.

The Polish PAP news agency quoted senior Polish sports ministry official Adam Giersz as saying talks would not be resumed "until FIFA retracts its ultimatum."

Meanwhile European governing body UEFA has warned that Poland could lose the right to co-host Euro 2012 with Ukraine if the matter is not resolved to its satisfaction by Monday, PAP reported.

FIFA on Wednesday gave Poland until midday on Monday to reinstate PZPN officials ousted by an Polish Olympic committee arbitration court.

Possble ban from World Cup qualifiers

It said Poland could be barred from 2010 World Cup qualifiers scheduled for Oct. 11 against Czech Republic and Oct. 15 against Slovakia if it were in breach of statutes after the deadline.

Their opponents could then be awarded a 3-0 win.

On Friday, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk lent his support to his sports minister, Miroslaw Drzewiecki, in the battle with the PZPN.

Tusk asked journalists in Warsaw what values there were in football, where "one thief after another appears," before stating that it was better to reach tough decisions in order to clean up the sport.

Fighting corruption in soccer

On Monday, the PZPN was suspended by an arbitration court of the nation's Olympic Committee, which appointed Robert Zawlocki temporary head of the organization.

It followed a motion from the sports ministry which has long been dissatisfied with PZPN's handling of corruption in Polish football.

Zawlocki later suspended PZPN boss Michel Listkiewicz and the rest of the board.

Polish football has been plagued by corruption in recent years, with more than 20 clubs, referees, federations, club officials and players allegedly involved in match fixing.

FIFA and UEFA said they would continue to recognize the current leadership chaired by Listkiewicz as the "only legitimate authority," and would "ignore" any communication from Zawlocki's group.

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