Poland and Croatia sack managers following World Cup qualification failures

Disappointing campaigns spell end for Waldemar Fornalik and Niko Kovac

There will be some sore heads this morning for those who last night ensured their qualification for the World Cup in Brazil - but for those who failed, the pain is much more severe.

And those feeling it more than most are the coaches of Poland and Croatia, both of whom it was announced today had been sacked.

Poland, who lost 2-0 to England last night despite a spirited display in front of 20,000 of their own supporters at Wembley, announced the departure of coach Waldemar Fornalik.

His side finished fourth in Group H behind England, Ukraine and Montenegro. "Waldemar Fornalik has ceased to carry out the functions of national team coach," the Polish FA said in a statement which thanked the 50-year-old former Poland defender for his "more than one year of work with the national team."

Fornalik had been in charge since July last year after replacing Franciszek Smuda who was sacked after a disappointing display at Euro 2012.

The sacking of Igor Stimac as Croatia coach may come as more of a surprise. Despite his side struggling in Group A, signalled by defeats home and away to Scotland, they still managed to finish second and qualify for next month's play-offs.

Igor Stimac Igor Stimac  

Yet it would seem the Croatian Football Federation, its president Davor Suker and even Stimac, felt a change was neccessary to boost their chances of progressing in the two-legged tie which will be against either France, Romania, Iceland or Ukraine.

Following last night's 2-0 defeat at Hampden - which followed a loss to Belgium, Stimac said he would step down because of "a moral responsibility".

"Stimac had total support of the federation, but after these poor results ... my proposal was to remove Stimac from his duties," Suker said. Stimac took over from Slaven Bilic.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project