Fernando Santos’ position as Poland coach remained uncertain Tuesday after he met with the president of the country’s football federation following the team’s poor start to European Championship qualifying.
The 68-year-old Santos, who has only been in the job since January after spending eight years as coach of his native Portugal, will hold further talks with Cezary Kulesza this week and no final decision has been taken on his future, federation spokesman and team manager Jakub Kwiatkowski said.
Poland, with star striker Robert Lewandowski, 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. The results and performances have prompted criticism from fans and national media.
Santos parted ways with Portugal after last year’s World Cup in Qatar. He is Poland’s third foreign-born coach, after Leo Beenhakker and Paulo Sousa.
He was tasked with improving Poland’s underwhelming record at recent major tournaments, with the team having only advanced from the group stage at one World Cup (2022) and one European Championship (2016) since 1986, but it might not even get to Euro 2024.
With three matches remaining in qualifying, Poland is four points behind first-place Albania and two points off the Czechs in second place. The top two qualify automatically.
Santos was asked after the 2-0 loss to Albania on Sunday if he would resign, and he said he wouldn’t because “not everything is lost yet” for Poland in qualifying.
Poland’s next game is against last-place Faeroe Islands on Oct. 12.
Polish sports media has speculated that Santos could be replaced by a Pole, with Marek Papszun and Michal Probierz potential options.
Raków Częstochowa became Polish league champions for the first time last season under Papszun and also won the Polish Cup twice under him, in 2021 and ‘22.
Probierz coaches Poland’s under-21 team.
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