Poland’s prime minister has reversed a controversial initial decision to pay the national soccer team big bonuses for its World Cup performance, amid inflation and economic hardships in the country.
It was a surprising drop from Mateusz Morawiecki, who said he believed the players deserved some kind of reward for qualifying from their group, Poland’s best result in the tournament in 36 years.
But in the wake of controversy sparked by high inflation and general uncertainty, Morawiecki eventually said on Facebook that there would be “no government means” to reward players.
He added that the lack of funding is among the problems that stand in the way of developing football in Poland, noting that state funds will be allocated to amend that situation.
In a meeting before the national team left for Qatar, Morawiecki promised the players a “very valuable prize” if all goes well. The media reported that there was talk of at least 30 million zlotys ($6.7 million), according to the Associated Press.
Poland qualified from the group stage after defeating Saudi Arabia, drawing with Mexico and losing to Argentina. Then it was eliminated in the round of 16 against France, the defending champion, in a match that ended with three French goals against a Polish goal.
With a budget deficit, huge spending on defense and inflation exceeding 17 percent, government spokesman Piotr Mueller recently said there would be no reward for players and the money would be spent on training children and developing football infrastructure.
France, the defending champion, made its way to the quarter-finals of the World Cup Qatar 2022 in football, after its victory Sunday over Poland 3-1, and will meet it in a fiery battle with England, eager for a second title after 1966, after its easy victory over Senegal, the African champion, 3-0.
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