Poland’s prime minister has backtracked on an earlier decision to award bonuses to the national football team after the ongoing FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Mateusz Morawiecki promised the team a bonus of 30 million złoty (€6.4 million) after they progressed to the knockout stages of the tournament for the first time in 36 years but performed a U-turn and stated that “there will be no government means” for bonuses for the players.
The bonus proposal was widely criticised by opposition lawmakers and commentators amid Poland’s budget deficit.
With inflation running at over 17% in the country, critics have argued that taxpayers’ money could be better spent on supporting citizens during the cost of living crisis.
Government spokesman Piotr Mueller had previously suggested that more money would be spent on training children and developing football infrastructure.
Morawiecki had said he believes that the players have earned the reward for achieving Poland’s best result at the World Cup since 1986.
“The problem of Polish football for years has been the level of funding,” he wrote on Facebook.
“The successful performance of Poles at the World Cup is a good opportunity to start a discussion on the future of Polish football,” Morawiecki added, pledging to allocate more state funds.
Poland has since been eliminated from the tournament at he knock out stage by defending champions France.