Former Poland star Szarmach given suspended sentence for domestic violence

Angoulême (France) (AFP) – Former Poland football star Andrzej Szarmach has been handed an eight-month suspended prison sentence for domestic violence by a French court.

The 69-year-old, who scored five goals at the 1974 World Cup as Poland finished third, will also have psychological care to fight against an alcohol addiction.

Szarmach, who spent much of his professional career in France, attacked his wife of 46 years, Malgorzata, on March 6.

She has since asked him to return home, saying she forgave him and was “no longer afraid” as he had not drunk alcohol for three months.

He returned home against the advice of the deputy prosecutor, who said it was “premature” and risked a repeat incident.

Szarmach sits sixth on the list of Poland’s all-time record goalscorers with 32 goals in 61 international appearances.

He starred for French club Auxerre and has lived in Angouleme, in southwest France, for many years and coached the town’s football club in the 1990s.