The Polish Football Association (PZPN) has decided to part ways with Fernando Santos, the Portuguese manager who took the reins of the national team less than nine months ago. The decision came hot on the heels of Poland’s disappointing defeat to Albania in a qualifier for the 2024 European Championships, leaving the team languishing in penultimate place in Group E.
Santos, arrived in Poland with a stellar coaching pedigree, most notably winning the European Championship in 2016 with the Portuguese national team. However, his stint in charge of Poland was marked by mixed results and a series of painful defeats in high-stakes matches.
During his brief tenure, Santos oversaw six matches as the national team selector. His tenure had some highs, with victories over Albania (1:0) and the Faroe Islands (2:0) in the Euro 2024 qualifiers, as well as an impressive win against Germany (1:0) in a friendly match. However, the lows were equally striking, with painful losses against the Czech Republic (1:3), Moldova (2:3), and a particularly distressing defeat to Albania (0:2).
Sunday’s loss in Tirana seemed to be the final straw, prompting discussions within the Polish Football Association about Santos’s future. The situation was brought to a head during a meeting between PZPN President Cezary Kulesza and Santos on Tuesday. Following the meeting, PZPN spokesman Jakub Kwiatkowski hinted at further conversations between the coach and the federation.
Wednesday morning brought the confirmation that Santos’s contract had been terminated, effective immediately. President Kulesza expressed his gratitude to the Portuguese coach on the official PZPN website, stating, “I would like to thank coach Santos for working with our national team and I wish him good luck in his next sports challenges.”
While the exact terms of the separation remain undisclosed, PZPN Secretary General Lukasz Wachowski confirmed that the contracts of Santos and his coaching staff were terminated on September 13th.