WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland's football association elected former star striker Zbigniew Boniek as its new president on Friday.
The former Juventus forward succeeds Grzegorz Lato, amid calls to reform an association that has been blamed for poor national team performances, corruption in the domestic game and a failure to deal with stadium hooligans.
"The president works together with the board members," Boniek told an association convention before it voted. "Let's make a choice that will make progress possible."
Boniek, a national team great during the 1980s, won 61 votes from the 118 delegates. He was one of five candidates.
The 64-year-old told reporters he will start next week by reviewing the FA's available means before taking any decisions.
He also said the FA should not be criticized for things beyond its control, like referee decisions or "a hooligan spitting on a train."
He previously briefly served as national team coach and deputy FA president.
In 1982, he helped Poland finish third at the World Cup in Spain and also played in the 1978 and 1986 tournaments.
Lato, another former star, was not seeking a second term. He was criticized when a World Cup qualifier against England in Warsaw had to be postponed because of rain earlier this month — despite the stadium being equipped with a roof.