WARSAW, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Polish Football Association (PZPN) secretary general Zbigniew Krecina was charged with mismanagement of funds on Wednesday, state news agency PAP quoted prosecutors as saying.
Krecina is favourite to replace PZPN head Michal Listkiewicz in an Oct. 30 election that is being held to avoid sanctions from world body FIFA and the potential loss of the country’s right to co-host Euro 2012 with Ukraine.
Krecina is accused of illegally transferring 350,000 zlotys ($120,000) to Widzew Lodz soccer club. He denies the charge.
Prosecutors said the investigation was not aimed at derailing the election.
“This part of the investigation had been started in June. The prosecutors were not interested in elections at the PZPN,” head of the prosecutors office in the city of Wroclaw, Edward Zalewski, told PAP.
The prosecutors’ move comes just a few weeks after the PZPN’s management board was suspended by the country’s arbitration tribunal at the request of Warsaw’s sports ministry in an anti-corruption drive, triggering the row with FIFA.
FIFA, whose rules forbid government interference in FA matters, had warned the Polish government that it was facing the possible suspension of its national soccer team.
The dispute was resolved when the government reinstated the association. The agreement to hold PZPN elections was part of the deal.
Asked if he still intended to run in the election, Krecina told PAP that he would.
As part of the same investigation, police detained former Poland head coach Janusz Wojcik, who led the Polish team to an Olympic silver medal in 1992, on corruption charges.
The charges are related to his time as a coach of small Swit Nowy Dwor Mazowiecki club in 2003-2004 but no further details were available.
More than 150 Polish officials, referees and players have been accused of match-fixing and corruption, with 17 on trial since 2007. (Reporting by Patryk Wasilewski; Editing by Sonia Oxley)