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Polish icon cites ‘populism’ after Russia-based star’s banishment – Reuters

Maciej Rybus will not be considered for the Poland squad after extending his club career in Russia

Polish football icon and former coach Zbigniew Boniek quoted “populism” to explain head coach Czeslaw Michniewicz’s decision to exclude Maciej Rybus from the national team selection, after the defender opted to sign for Russian club Spartak Moscow.

Rybus, 32, has been told he will not be playing for the national team ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar after opting to stay in Russia at Spartak after spending five years with Lokomotiv Moscow.

Due to his current club situation, [Rybus] would not be called up for the national team’s training camp in September and will not take it into account when determining the squad for the World Cup in Qatar“, the Polish Football Federation (PZPN) said in a statement this week.

Rybus remains one of his country’s most experienced defenders, but he appears to be paying the price for refusing to request a transfer out of Russia following the military campaign in Ukraine.

Indeed, Poland was one of the first footballing nations to take a stand against Russia by refusing to play a World Cup qualifier with Russia, which was due to be played in Moscow in March.

Russia was subsequently kicked out of the playoffs and effectively barred from participating in the Qatar World Cup.

However, speaking to Polish media, Boniek suggested that the situation surrounding Rybus was partly ‘populist’ and that in reality the decision was made easier by the fact that there is significant competition for his full-back position. left.

There’s too much populism in all this,” Boniek

Polish Handball Champions League team Vive Kielce scored an equalizer against Barcelona and it led to extra time thanks to a goal from a Belarusian [player]. And it didn’t bother anyone.

Today it was easy to make such a gesture [with Rybus]because Rybus is behind Bereszynski, Puchacz or Zalewski in the left-back standings.

It’s easy to eliminate Rybus, who always has injuries in the team.”

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Some in Poland may welcome the decision, although others may view him as the ‘cancelled’ player for refusing to sever ties with the country he has lived in for five years. Rybus also has a Russian wife, with whom he has two sons.

You can analyze the question in different ways and come to different conclusions“, explained Boniek. “But now it’s a bit like that who shouts louder is right.”

Rybus made 136 appearances during his time in the Russian capital with Lokomotiv and has a Russian Premier League winners’ medal to his name, as well as two Russian Cups and a Russian Super Cup.

He played eight times for Poland in 2021 but is yet to be capped in 2022.

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