On Wednesday, Poland relieved Fernando Santos from his post as head coach.

The 68-year-old boss won the UEFA European Championship with Portugal in 2016. However, he struggled mightily in his brief time with Poland in qualification for Euro 2024.

As things stand, the Poles rank fourth out of five teams in their Euro 2024 qualification group. Despite Robert Lewandowski’s best efforts, they lost three of their first five games. Consequently, Poland sits behind Albania, the Czech Republic and Moldova.

Poland relieves Fernando Santos after just nine months

Santos’ last game in command of Poland concluded in a 2-0 loss to Albania on Sunday. A Tuesday meeting in Warsaw failed to produce a swift resolution. Then, PZPN president Cezary Kulesza made the announcement three days later.

“The Polish Football Federation (PZPN) announces that, as of September 13, 2023, coach Fernando Santos will no longer perform his duties as Poland’s national coach. I would like to thank coach Santos for working with our national team and I wish him good luck in his next sports challenges.

“The selection of a new manager is now a priority for the board of the Polish Football Association (PZPN), so we will soon announce when the presentation of the new coach will take place.”

Who will replace Santos?

Santos took over as coach when Poland sacked Czeslaw Michniewicz after the Eagles’ elimination from the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Lewandowski’s side reached the round of 16. It lost to eventual runner-up France, 3-1. In Poland, fans and media alike often blasted the Portuguese for not showing up for local matches. Moreover, critics took exception to his in-game strategy.

The next match is a key home qualifier against the Faroe Islands. It is unclear whether a replacement for Santos will be named in time for the match. In the event that they do not place in the top two in their group, they will still have a chance to qualify for next summer’s tournament in Germany by way of the playoffs.

PHOTO: IMAGO / Newspix