There have been rumblings in recent months about coach Franciszek Smuda’s move to import a number of German and French-based players with connections to Poland into the national set-up.
Perquis and Obraniak were born in France and qualified to play for Poland through their grandparents.
At a news conference conducted mainly in French on Tuesday, Obraniak denied telling French sports magazine Surface that he felt uncomfortable in the Polish set-up and several players did not want him there.
“I’ve only learned about all this from you. I’m shocked and disgusted. I will say this once and that is it. I feel Polish and I like my team mates,” he said ahead of their Euro 2012 Group A opener against Greece on Friday.
Former Poland goalkeeper Jan Tomaszewski, famous for denying England in World Cup qualifying at Wembley in 1973, said last month that he would not support a national side that contained “Germans and Frenchmen”.
One Polish journalist at Tuesday’s briefing called for Obraniak, who speaks only a handful of words in Polish, to sing a part of the national anthem.
Another French-based player, former Wisla Krakow midfielder Dariusz Dudka, defended the inclusion of Obraniak, who played a friendly for France’s under-21s before opting to use his grandparents to qualify for Polish citizenship last year.
“It is not important whether you speak Polish or not, if you have a Polish passport then you can play,” said Dudka, who is now at Auxerre.
“I’m not surprised that he doesn’t speak Polish yet. I know how hard it was for me for the first two years in France and I had the language around me daily – Ludovic has it even harder.”
Dudka also called for Poles to get behind the national side.
“I have the feeling that some (Polish) fans are for us, some are a bit against us. Hopefully, when it comes down to the game (on Friday), everyone will stand behind us.” DM
Photo: Poland’s soccer team poses for a picture before their international friendly soccer match against Portugal at the National Stadium in Warsaw February 29, 2012. From L to R, top row are: Wojciech Szczesny, Damien Perquis, Ireneusz Jelen, Lukasz Piszczek, Dariusz Dudka and Jakub Wawrzyniak. Bottom row are: Eugen Polanski, Captain Jakub Blaszczykowski, Marcin Wasilewski, Ludovic Obraniak and Maciej Rybus. REUTERS/Peter Andrews
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