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Błaszczykowski ruled out of EURO

Poland midfielder Jakub Błaszczykowski will sit out UEFA EURO 2008™ after he aggravated a hamstring injury in training just three days before their first group game.

Jakub Błaszczykowski (second right) in training for Poland before he was ruled out
Jakub Błaszczykowski (second right) in training for Poland before he was ruled out ©Getty Images

No chance
"A medical examination and a consequent diagnosis showed it would be impossible for the player to be fit for the group stage," said team spokeswoman Marta Alf. "Therefore a decision was made to request UEFA to approve the replacement of Błaszczykowski with Hertha [BSC] Berlin player Łukasz Piszczek." The 23-year-old Piszczek made his debut in a friendly against Estonia in February and has three caps.

Makeshift defence
Błaszczykowski, who plays for BV Borussia Dortmund, picked up the injury last month and had been sidelined for two weeks. Coach Leo Beenhakker also omitted left-back Grzegorz Bronowicki from his provisional squad last month because of a knee injury and will have to field a makeshift defence in the opening match against Group B rivals Germany in Klagenfurt on Sunday. Poland also play co-hosts Austria in Vienna on 12 June and Croatia in Klagenfurt four days later.

Rules and regulations
According to Article 16.05 of the Regulations of the UEFA European Football Championship: "In the event of serious injury to a listed player before his team's first match in the final tournament, the player in question may be substituted only if a doctor from the UEFA Medical Committee and the team doctor concerned both confirm that the injury is sufficiently serious to prevent the player from taking part."