World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Football in Poland

Article Id: WHEBN0000624609
Reproduction Date:

Title: Football in Poland  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Poznań, Ekstraklasa, Poland national football team, Śląsk Świętochłowice, Polish football league system
Collection: Football in Poland
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Football in Poland

Football is the most popular sport in Poland. Over 400,000 Poles play football regularly, with millions more playing occasionally. The first professional clubs were founded in the early 1900s, and the Polish national football team played its first international match in 1921.

There are hundreds of professional and amateur football teams in Poland; which are organized into the national 1st league, 2nd level, 2 regional 3rd levels, 8 regional 4th levels, 19 regional 5th leagues and a variety of other lower level leagues. Additionally, there are the Polish Cup and Polish Supercup competitions.


  • History 1
  • Corruption in Polish football 2
  • Security measures 3
  • European Competitions 4
    • UEFA Champions League 4.1
    • EURO 2012 4.2
  • Notes and references 5
  • See also 6
  • External links 7


Polish fans during the 2006 FIFA World Cup

The history of football in Poland started in the late 19th century with the rising popularity of the new sport. At the time, the Polish state was partitioned. The first decades of Polish football are therefore connected with the history of Football in Austria and the Austrian Football Association, which was founded in 1904.

The first Polish football clubs were Lechia Lwów (1903), Czarni Lwów (1903), Pogoń Lwów (1904, KS Cracovia (1906) and Wisła Kraków (1906). The Polish national federation, called the Polish Football Union (Polski Związek Piłki Nożnej, PZPN), was founded on December 20, 1919, in Kraków when 31 delegates elected Edward Cetnarowski as the first president. The PZPN joined FIFA in 1923 and UEFA in 1955.

In a similar fashion to other European states, football appeared in Poland in the late 19th century. In 1888 Prof. Henryk Jordan, a court physician of the Habsburgs and the pioneer of sports in Poland, opened a sports park in Kraków's Błonia, a large open space surrounding the demolished city walls of that town. The park, along with the Sokół society founded in 1867, became the main centres to promote sports and healthy living in Poland. It was Jordan who began promoting football as a healthy sport in the open air; some sources also credit him with bringing the first football to Poland from his travels to Brunswick in 1890.[1] Other sources [2] mention Dr. Edmund Cenar as the one to bring the first ball and the one to translate The Cambridge Rules and parts of the International Football Association Board regulations to Polish language.

On July 14, 1894 during the Second Sokół Jamboree in Lwów a short football match was played between the Sokół members of Lwów and those from Kraków. It lasted only six minutes and was seen as a curiosity rather than a potentially popular sport. Nevertheless, it was the first recorded football match in Polish history.[3] It was won by the Lwów team after Włodzimierz Chomicki scored the only goal - the first known goal in Polish history.

This match precipitated the popularity of the new sport in Poland. Initially the rules and regulations were very simplified, with the size of the field and the ball varying greatly. Despite being discouraged by many educational societies and the state authorities, the new sport gained extreme popularity among pupils of various Rzeszów where Resovia Rzeszów was formed, while in the German-held part of Poland, the 1. FC Katowice and Warta Poznań were formed.

On June 6, 1906 a representation of Lwów youth came to Kraków for a repeat match, this time composed of two already organized teams, the Czarni and the team of the IV Gymnasium. Kraków's representation was badly beaten in both meetings (4:0 and 2:0 respectively). The same summer the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show set up camp at Kraków's Błonia, right outside of the traditional playground area and Jordan's garden. On August 5, 1906 the team of the Kraków-based Jan Sobieski Gymnasium played a match against the British and American members of Buffalo Bill's troupe, winning 1:0. The only goal scored by Stanisław Szeligowski was also the first goal scored by a Polish team in an international meeting. The success led to the popularisation of football in Kraków and to creation of the first Kraków-based professional football team, KS Cracovia - initially composed primarily of students of the Jan Sobieski Gymnasium.[1] By the autumn of that year there were already 16 teams in Kraków, including Wisła Kraków(It is said that actually Wisła Kraków was the first professional football team and not Cracovia). In 1911, a Kraków-based Union of Polish Football for Galicia was formed and entered the Austrian Football Association. The union inspired the creation of a number of teams.

After the outbreak of World War I, most of the Galician football players, many of them members of either Strzelec or Sokół, joined Piłsudski's Polish Legions. The unit, fighting alongside the Austro-Hungarian Army, fought mostly in various parts of Russian-held Poland, which led to popularisation of the new sport in other parts of Poland. After Poland regained her independence, on December 21, 1919 the Polish Football Association (PZPN) was formed. Headed by Edward Centrarowski, it united most of the then-existent Polish football clubs. The league could not be formed due to the Polish-Bolshevik War, but in 1922 the PZPN published the rules of football[4] and the following year it joined FIFA. In 1921 the league was resumed and the first champions of Poland were KS Cracovia, followed by Pogoń Lwów in 1922, 1923, 1925 and 1926. As Poland was then a fully independent state, in 1921 the Polish national football team was formed. On December 18, 1921 it played its first international match in Budapest against the Hungarian team and was defeated 1:0. In the third international match in Stockholm on May 28, 1922 Poland defeated Sweden 2:1, scoring its first international victory.

During World War II, football in occupied Poland was subject to significant restrictions (see Football in occupied Poland (1939–1945)) for more.

In 1955 the PZPN became one of the founding members of UEFA.

Corruption in Polish football

In 2005 Polish authorities began an investigation into widespread corruption within Polish football.

In July 2006, the Polish sports minister criticized the FIFA which announced that the principle of autonomy of football associations was of utmost importance. The Polish sports ministry, Prime Minister Jarosław Kaczynski, and most fans felt that the battle against corruption was more important,[5] but when FIFA threatened sanctions, the sports ministry backed down and agreed to re-instate the PZPN board.

In September 2008, the Polish Olympic Committee made a request to the Polish Arbitration Tribunal to suspend the management of the PZPN a second time, stating that the PZPN was guilty of "[violating] its statutes in a continuous and flagrant fashion."[6] This request was granted and Robert Zawłocki was named as temporary administrator. However, FIFA again threatened to suspend Polish teams from international competition.

On April 15, 2009, the total number of arrests reached 200, including referees, observers, coaches, players as well as some high-ranking officials of the PZPN.[7][8] By the end of April 2009, only 15 referees remained who were allowed to preside over top-flight matches.[9]

Security measures

A series of new security measures are set to come into force in August 2009 which will require all clubs to improve their fan identification systems. Fans who have received a stadium ban will now be obliged to appear at a police station during matches. Those who enter a stadium despite a ban, assault security officials or other workers, or throw dangerous materials, will face a sentence of up to three years in prison, rising to five years if the individual is masked or otherwise tries to conceal their identity.[10]

European Competitions

UEFA Champions League

The following teams have qualified for elimination rounds in the UEFA Champions League.

EURO 2012

On the 18th of April 2007 the President of UEFA, Michel Platini, announced that the hosts of the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship would be Poland and Ukraine. Both countries automatically qualified for the event.

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b Leszek Mazan (2006). "Buffalo Bill na Błoniach".  
  2. ^ Zbigniew Chmielewski (2003). "Obok Czarnych znak Pogoni".  
  3. ^ . In fact there was a previous meeting mentioned by the press in Kraków in 1892, though no details are known
  4. ^  
  5. ^ Sparre, Kirsten (2007-01-31). "Poland sets fighting corruption higher than football interests". Retrieved 2009-04-15. 
  6. ^ "Administrator taking over scandal-hit Polish federation".  
  7. ^ "Dwie osoby zatrzymane w sprawie korupcji". (in Polish). 2009-04-15. Retrieved 2009-04-15. 
  8. ^ Pakulniewicz, Michał (2007-01-22). "Red card for PZPN". Warsaw Business Journal. Retrieved 2009-04-15. 
  9. ^ Patryk Wasilewski and Gabriela Baczynska (2009-04-27). "More arrests likely in Polish corruption probe".  
  10. ^ "Zamiast meczu wizyta na komisariacie".  

See also

External links

  • Official website
  • Polish Ekstraklasa news in English
  • Polish football news in English
  • - RSSSF Poland
  • Euro in Poland 2012 News, Comments, Photos (English) (German) (Polish)
  • - Polish football news center
  • Football scores for Polish Football Leagues
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.