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The World Seen With  A Football Fan's Eye

Warsaw - Stadion Narodowy

16.10.2012 QUALIFICATIONS FOR WORLD CUP 2014
Poland - England (the match was postponed)


The first, and hopefully the last time I came to see the match which was ulitimately not held. A lot had already been said about the reasons for this compromitation. A hangover will stay though - the match was cancelled at the only stadion in Poland equipped with the closing roof feature. The communication failed either - it was unclear for long hours what happens next. The audience did only have an opportunity to watch the efforts of a FIFA representative walking through the soaked pitch in heavy rain, throwing a ball to be checking what happens then. I wish we had seen a fire eater, a rubber man or a ventriloquist instead - equally helpful to the issue.
Decent catering (I was in the VIP zone) helped to a certain degree with pain mitigation. I enjoyed also an opportunity for having a conversation with the former Poland's Prime Minister, Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz - pretty cool gentleman, regularly visiting Chelsea ground in London, as he claimed himself.
Andrzej Seweryn, a famous Polish actor, stood in a row behind us. One could see some hope in his eyes however upon the referee's decision announcement Mr Seweryn used a few words of comment which a re defined as pretty "masculine". 
My jacket and shoes had to dry up for a few days, I was really lucky not not have caught a cold. Several pluses of that evening, besides the companion of my friends and the conversation with Mr Primer Minister, included a trip from the stadium to the Warsaw airport, with a newly built metropolitan railway line. A truly European standard and comfort, signage in Russian and Greek even, bells and whistles.

                                                                     17.10.2012 Poland - England 1:1

I watched the match on TV at home the following day. And although I was expecting a defeat, as all of the Poles, I kept my fingers crossed for the White-Reds - this is simply incurable amongst most of us Poles, maybe with the exception of Jan Tomaszewski. Rooney's goal may have indicated the tradition would be sustained. It did happen on the one hand - we failed one more time wo win against England and this athenia has been in place ever since 1973 while - on the other hand - an improvement in play quality, engagement and courage could not have gone unnoticed. Fornalik showed the courage himself thus deserving words of appreciation - one needs to have guts to let Wszolek and Krychowiak enter "THE" game in the first eleven and give the opportinuty to Milik in the closing phase. England could have been outplayed that evening yet good teams are featured with the capability of not losing even on the day of apparently insufficient performance. The Polish national Team will now be enjoying a few months of peace, the next encounter in the WC qualifications is only in spring. Fornalik will then to prove the decent performance againts England was not coincidental and rather a symptom of the long term change for the better - the change to be hopefully supported by the new management team of Polish Football Federation who took the office in the recent elections. I will surely keep my fingers crossed in spring again. We simply deserve more than never ending happy memories of Domarski's goal scored at Wembley on 17th October 1973 or two penalties saved by Tomaszewski during the WC tournament in West Germany the following year