Poland’s football legend Boniek becomes new chief of Polish Football Association
October 29, 2012
The Polish Football Association (PZPN) elected the country's famous football star from the 1980s Zbigniew Boniek as its new president for the next four years in the second round of voting in Warsaw on Friday.
Boniek, the former Juventus midfielder and Poland’s former star striker star from the 1980s, won 61 votes from 118 association delegates and outpaced the runner-up Edward Potok, President of the Lodz FA, by 27 votes.
The three other candidates for the post were President of the Wielkopolska football association Stefan Antkowiak, former striker, and now an MP for the ruling Civic Platform (PO) part Roman Kosecki, and former PZPN secretary-general Zdzislaw Krecina.
The 56-year-old Boniek took over the post from Grzegorz Lato, who pulled out of the race after he received severe criticism for poor performance of the Polish national team during Euro 2012 championships and after PZPN faced allegations of corruption.
“I want to thank everyone who voted for me. And to those who voted for someone else, I want you to know that Zbigniew Boniek is a president for all,” he said after the announcement.
He said he will first review the FA's available means before taking any decisions.
"I realize what responsibility will now rest on my shoulders,” Boniek said."I can't compare this victory to what happened during my football career. This victory forces me to do some serious thinking ... this is a different level of responsibility."
Boniek has previously briefly served as national team coach and deputy FA president. He played for the Polish national team that shone on the global stage in the 1970s and early 1980s and in 1982 finished third at the World Cup in Spain. Later he left Widzew Lodz for Juventus, where he was midfielder and helped the Italians win their first European Cup three years later. He retired in 1988 and settled in Italy. He ran in the 2008 elections for PZPN head but finished third after Lato and Krecina.