Poland captain Jakub Blaszczykowski has blamed a ticketing fiasco for his team’s elimination from Euro 2012 on Saturday.
Tournament co-hosts Poland were eliminated from the European Championships by a 1-0 defeat to the Czech Republic in their final match of Group A.
Borussia Dortmund man Blaszczykowski said the team’s focus was affected by their inability to secure tickets to games for the players’ family members, and pinned the blame on Polish Football Association President Grzegorz Lato.
“It’s hard to moan right now, because it may be regarded as frustration,” he told reporters.
“But as captain, I must be responsible for the team and how they are functioning.
“I must address several issues. It can’t be like that before each game that we have to beg the FA’s president to give the tickets to our families. Everybody is getting them, only our families have these problems.
“This took away our focus from the pitch. Before each game, the situation was the same. I told the president about this after the match in the dressing room. I’m not afraid of the responsibility,” the 26-year-old said.
“The president says he has a great relationship with the team but I haven’t witnessed anything like that. Each time we had an agreement on something with Mr. Lato, he never kept his word.”
Blaszczykowski conceded the ticketing concerns were not an excuse for their 1-0 loss to the Czech Republic, but insisted it had an effect on their mentality heading into the game.
“It (the ticketing issue) doesn’t have anything to do with us being eliminated, or whether we played good or bad,” he said.
“Our families are most important to us and we didn’t know whether they can come to the game or not.
“Until the late hours (before a match), I had to take care of very basic things.”
Poland’s elimination has already seen its first casualty, with coach Franciszek Smuda confirming he will leave his post.
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