Government to impose eagle on Polish sports strips
PR dla Zagranicy
The government wants to force, by law, national sports teams to wear the traditional Polish eagle on their shirts following the unveiling of Poland's eagle-less Euro 2012 strip.
New emblem: photo - PAP/ Bartlomiej Zborowski
An amendment to the Sport Act will be put before parliament on Thursday by the ruling Civic Platform.
"Article 13 of the Sports Act says that Polish representatives have the right to use the national emblem on their shirts. We want a small change - instead of giving 'the right' to use the emblem, Polish representatives will be obligated to use the national emblem on the strips,” Civic Platform MP Andrzej Biernat said at a press conference yesterday.
The unveiling last week of Poland's strip for the Euro 2012 football championships caused outrage among traditionalists when the eagle, with crown, was left off the shirts, replaced by the new symbol of the Polish football association (PZPN) which has a vague and highly stylized eagle on it.
Former football player and captain of the national side Roman Kosecki, who is now a Civic Platform MP, says that having the eagle on the shirt is essential for the players to feel pride in playing for Poland.
“We want the eagle on our breasts because playing for the national side is an exceptional honour that everyone remembers for life,” he said.
“Polish kids dream of playing with an eagle on their chests,” he added.
Agnieszka Olejkowska, spokeswoman for the Polish FA says, however, that the eagle won't be coming back on the shirts any time soon.
“The process of designing the strip lasted 18 months and they will be in use as intended, for two years,” she said.
Poland took to the field for the first time in history without eagles on their shorts when they played Italy last Friday in Wroclaw: the side lost 0 – 2. (pg)