SportsThere is a tense atmosphere in Slovak water polo....

There is a tense atmosphere in Slovak water polo. The federation settles the dispute between the players and the coach


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Problems with Slovak women’s water polo did not end with 12th place at the last European Championships in Split. Some footballers accuse current coach Szabolcs Eschwig-Hajts of vulgar behavior and demand his release. The current head of the water polo section, Pavel Borsig, tells about the intrigues of players who were not nominated.

Miroslava Stankovianska, a member of the broader national team and, in the recent past, one of the team’s leaders, contacted the editorial office, according to which several water polo players are refusing representation under the leadership of coach Szabolcs Eschwig-Hajts. She drew attention to the open letter signed by eleven athletes, which they addressed to the Slovak Swimming Federation in November 2020.

The players signed in it accuse coach Eschwig-Hajts of vulgar and aggressive behavior. At that time, he was not yet the main coach of the women’s national team, but led almost all players in the youth qualifiers or at the club level.

The management of the Slovak Swimming Federation promised a solution to the situation and fired Mr. Eschwig-Hajts, but then he was re-elected head coach of the national team and led the team at the European Championships in Split. The situation is still the same and the whole problem has been swept under the rug. “ Miroslava Stankovianska, who was the best Slovak scorer during the Olympic qualifications in Trieste in January last year, wrote to us.

At that time, the team was led by Milan Henkrich, whose contract ended after the tournament, and the coaches of the currently best Slovak women’s national team, ŠG Olympia Košice, Szabolcs Eschwig-Hajts, were successful in the next selection.

The former representative, winner of seven federal championships, and later coach of several youth national teams, led the Slovaks in the February qualifying and at the last European Championship.

Szabolcs Eschwig – Hajts

Source: TASR

“I know about the mentioned list only indirectly, because I haven’t seen it so far. Those who play sports know that sometimes the wrong words can come up in the tension of a match or right after it, but that is part of the sport. Even the players still do not choose the right rhetoric, criticizing the referees during personal contacts in the match. In any case, I have taken this reminder to heart and I try to pay attention to the statements, especially after the losses I regret. “ spoke to the daily “Sport Szabolcs Eschwig-Hajts” and then added:

“After assigning me to lead the national team, I turned to eighteen players, seventeen of whom confirmed their cooperation. We prepared for the qualification together without any problems. If the allegations were true, do you think so many players would join the national team?

In the context of the above-mentioned open letter addressed to the Slovak Swimming Federation, we also addressed the current head of the water polo section, Pavel Borsig.

“Although it is a letter from November 2020 and I did not become SPF’s vice president for water polo until September 2021, when Szabolcs Eschwig-Hajts was already the national team coach, but I know about him and I have no problem commenting on it. I even talked about it with some players. It must be said, however, that eleven of them signed the letter, but nine took part in training sessions and tournaments led by coach Eschwig-Hajts. So this letter is meaningless and we can easily deduce who its author is. ” – answered Pavel Borsig, who is not satisfied that apart from the decline in the results of our representation, he is also dealing with such conflicts.

He trusts coach Szabolcs Eschwig-Hajts and has no plans to fire him. “He has an important contract that I will respect. Those players who do not receive the invitation will always write such letters. It is very strange that the girls who gave up their representation and said they would not play under coach Eschwig-Hajts protested after he did not call them to practice. So I don’t know what they’re up to ” added Borsig.

Miroslava Stankovianska argues that she is interested in justice and wants people to know the truth. According to her, other girls are afraid to speak in public, but she is determined to fight to the end.


In a letter signed by eleven representatives in November 2020, the authors describe the coach’s alleged vulgar behavior (he called the players e.g. buz **** ky, cock ** ky, …), complaining to the management of the Slovak Swimming Federation that the coach cannot rule over their emotions (they indicate an incident with a client at the 2019 tournament in Szentesi, after which the player moved from Olimpia to another club) or, for example, that under his leadership they are in a bad mental state, which resulted in worse results than under led by other coaches.

“We know that we are not able to choose who will train us and who will not, but we would like to ask you to reconsider cooperation with Mr. Hajts, because his behavior is not correct and causes fear in the players and distrust of himself” representatives wrote, inter alia in a letter opened in November 2020.


He was born in 1962. As a player, he spent most of his career in ČH Kosice. He has won seven federal championship titles, has been the league’s top scorer three times, and has participated in two European championships. As a trainer, he led the men of ŠKP Kosice for many years, participated in the training of several dozen Slovak representatives (Seman, Grutka, Kolárik, Molnár …) and led Slovakia at several leading events in youth categories. In 2016, he participated in the founding of the new women’s team ŠG Olympia Košice, which under his leadership won the Slovak league four times in a row and is also a participant in the Champions League.

Last year he became the coach of the women’s national team, with which he finished 12th at the last European Championships in Split. In addition to working in water polo, since 1999 he has been working at the Sports Gymnasium in Košice and was one of the founders of the coaching specialization – water polo at the Sports Faculty of the University in Prešov, where he himself worked as a lecturer. Five years ago, he received the SOV Fair Play Club Diploma from the Slovak Olympic Committee for lifetime achievement in the spirit of fair play.

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