Waldemar Fornalik Fired by Poland, 35 Fans Arrested After Loss to England

Christopher AtkinsContributor IOctober 16, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 15:  Poland fans light flares prior to the FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifying Group H match between England and Poland at Wembley Stadium on October 15, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Waldemar Fornalik has been sacked as head coach of the Poland national team following his side's 2-0 defeat to England on Tuesday night and failure to qualify for the World Cup, per Sky Sports.

The Polish Football Association stated, "Waldemar has ceased to carry out the functions of national team coach."

Fornalik won just eight of his 18 games at the helm of the national team, and he failed to earn even a playoff spot following a disappointing World Cup 2014 qualification campaign.

Sky Sports reported, "Poland ended their World Cup qualifying campaign a disappointing fourth in the Group H table—with 13 points from 10 games. Association chairman Zbigniew Boniek thanked the 50-year-old Fornalik for his time in the job."

Fornalik's side disappointed at Wembley, despite an incredible atmosphere created by the hordes of away fans at the stadium. The Daily Mail estimated that the number of Poland fans on the night totalled nearly 20,000.

Unfortunately, the game did not pass without incident. Thirty-five Poland fans (and one England fan) were arrested on the night, according to the Press Association (via the Guardian).

Police held 16 people for possessing or using flares, six for being drunk and disorderly, and one for pitch invasion after the match at Wembley.

Marcin Lukomski, 34, is due to appear at Hendon magistrates' court on 6 November accused of getting on to the field on Tuesday night.

The other arrests included five people who were held for affray and two for possession of drugs.

So far, 15 have been released with no further action, nine remain in custody, eight have been cautioned and three have been fined.

Overall, the match was played in good spirits between two countries with many commonalities, including the fact that there are many Polish residents in Britain.

According to BBC News, the Polish supporters used the game as an opportunity to commemorate their pilots from World War II and the role they played during the Battle of Britain.

The electric atmosphere inside Wembley also led to the match being played at a frenetic pace, with England putting in one of their best performances in recent memory. There is no doubt that the home side benefited from the buzz generated by the occasion.

Fornalik's future was likely decided before the match, having failed to qualify for the World Cup. The few arrests, mostly for minor offences, will also create some headlines, but it was a match that will live long in the memory for the right reasons, with both sides contributing to a fabulous spectacle.