Fernando Santos fired as Poland coach after bad start to Euro 2024 qualifying

AP , Thursday 14 Sep 2023

Fernando Santos was fired Wednesday as Poland coach less than nine months after he was hired.

Poland s head coach Fernando Santos walks on the pitch after the Euro 2024 group E qualifying soccer match between Albania and Poland in Tirana, Albania, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023. AP


The coach who led his native Portugal to the European Championship title in 2016 did not make it to the end of his first qualifying group stage with Poland.

Poland is fourth in its five-team European Championship qualifying group — behind Albania, the Czech Republic and Moldova — after losing three of its five games so far, despite three goals from Robert Lewandowski. Poland is likely to land in the Euro 2024 qualifying playoffs in March.

“I would like to thank coach Santos for working with our national team and I wish him good luck in his next sports challenges,” Polish soccer federation president Cezary Kulesza said in a statement.

The 68-year-old Santos led Portugal to the Euro 2016 title and then won the inaugural Nations League in 2019 during his eight years as coach.

Santos left his role as Portugal coach after last year’s World Cup in Qatar which ended with a quarterfinals loss to Morocco.

Poland next plays at the Fareoe Islands on Oct. 12. Only a freakish run of results affecting multiple top-tier teams in the next two months can deny Poland entering the Euro 2024 qualifying playoffs even if it finishes outside the top two in the Group E standings.

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