An official of the Polish men’s national soccer team published a private email Saturday that appeared to suggest Charlotte FC provided incorrect medical information regarding the injury status of star striker Karol Świderski.
Sunday, that official provided further information to The Observer about the email and said it was to clarify why Poland canceled Świderski’s call-up to the national team.
About 10 minutes after Świderski scored his first of two goals for Charlotte FC against Cincinnati on Saturday evening, Jakub Kwiatkowski, the press officer for the men’s national soccer team of Poland, tweeted a screenshot of an email sent to him last week by the MLS club’s chief medical officer.
In the email, Charlotte FC chief medical officer Brent Messick said Świderski was removed from the club’s game against the New England Revolution with right hamstring pain, diagnosing him with a low-grade strain. He also wrote that Świderski would rehab with an anticipated return to play in 1-2 weeks.
Świderski returned to play earlier than one full week and logged 89 minutes. He was not made available to the media following Charlotte’s 2-0 win over FC Cincinnati on Saturday.
“Yesterday when (we) saw that Świderski is in the starting eleven of Charlotte FC, a real shitstorm on Polish Twitter has started,” Kwiatkowski wrote in an email to The Observer. “Journalists and fans started to attack us that we (made) a big mistake not to call up Świderski. That he is perfectly fit and can play. Now we have problems with strikers and Świderski is not with us.
“That’s why I decided to publish an email from Charlotte to explain that he was really injured.”
Kwiatkowski said Poland is down to one starting striker for its final World Cup qualifying match Tuesday against Sweden in the UEFA playoffs. Poland lost two strikers to injury during a friendly played Thursday against Scotland. (Scotland was scheduled to play Ukraine and Poland was to play Russia, but those qualifying matches were canceled due to the war in Eastern Europe.)
Świderski will not be called up to the Polish team for the remainder of World Cup qualifying, Kwiatkowski said.
Charlotte coach Miguel Angel Ramirez said Saturday night that playing Świderski was a decision made shortly before the match: “(I’m) super proud of these kinds of players that even with pain and soreness, and a last-minute decision, say, ‘ Coach, I prefer to go and take a risk.’ ”
Świderski, who is Polish, would be a boon to Poland in qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. He has played four matches with FC and scored four goals — two apiece the last two weeks — which ties him for the Major League Soccer lead. Poland, meanwhile, needs to win its UEFA playoff final Tuesday in order to make the World Cup.
This story was originally published March 26, 2022 9:58 PM.