Official: Fernando Santos sacked as Poland manager

The Polish Football Association have confirmed the departure of Fernando Santos as national team manager with immediate effect, following a poor run of results in European Championship qualification.

Santos’ last match in charge of Poland on Sunday ended in a 2-0 defeat to Albania, leaving them 4th in their Euro 2024 qualifying group. A meeting on Tuesday in Warsaw did not yield an immediate decision, but PZPN president Cezary Kulesza announced the news on Wednesday afternoon.

“I would like to thank coach Fernando Santos for his work with our national team and wish him good luck in his upcoming sporting challenges,” said Kulesza. “The choice of a new coach is now a priority for the management of the Polish Football Federation. Soon we will soon announce when the new coach will be presented.”

Santos took charge of just six matches with Poland following his appointment in January. A 1-0 friendly win over Germany in June did little to make up for three losses in five qualifying matches, with Poland beaten by Czechia, Moldova and Albania to put their expectations of reaching Euro 2024 as risk.

“Although we are reaching the end of our cooperation, I am grateful to have managed the Polish national team and I wish all the best to Poland and its people, who welcomed me so well when I lived here,” Santos said in a statement.

The position was Santos’ third international job, but having led Greece for a four-year term and Portugal for over eight years, his stint in eastern Europe represents the briefest of those tenures. The 68-year-old was Poland’s second Portuguese boss in quick succession, following Paulo Sousa’s controversial spell in charge in 2021.

By Sean Gillen