|Poland will co-host the 2012 European |
The Polish football federation's governing board will resign in September in the wake of a match-fixing scandal.
The football federation’s president Michal Listkiewicz said the board will step down September 14, three months before the end of its term, and federation members will elect new leaders.
Listkiewicz, who has headed the body since June 1999, confirmed he will not run again for president.
"We want to save this federation and we want to save Polish football,'' Listkiewicz said.
The announcement came at an extraordinary meeting Sunday to address a widening corruption scandal that has rocked Polish football, causing a public outcry and government calls for the board to resign.
Prosecutors in Wroclaw launched an investigation in 2005 into corruption in Polish soccer.
So far, authorities have charged 117 people, including federation members, coaches, referees, players and club officials, with rigging matches in the top domestic leagues.
Twenty-nine clubs have been implicated.
Listkiewicz apologized to fans for not reacting quickly enough, but defended the federation's actions.
"We've done a lot, but it was too little, too late,'' Listkiewicz said.
"But the facts say that we've tried to fight the problem ... we just didn't have the proper tools.''
Corruption fight to continue
He said the federation had suspended 50 people and punished eight clubs for corruption, but acknowledged that "we reacted to events, and we didn't pre-empt the threats, and that must change.''
Listkiewicz said the federation had decided to appoint a "completely independent'' sports prosecutor to fight corruption in football.
He also said the federation would soon reach an agreement to monitor bookmakers and suspicious bets.
The scandal has cast a shadow over the country's upcoming debut at the European Championship in Austria and Switzerland, as well as its stuttering preparations to co-host the 2012 tournament with Ukraine.
Listkiewicz vowed that the current board members would "do everything'' to ensure the scandal doesn't impact their preparations for those two tournaments.