Gdansk might be saying goodbye to Euro 2012, but Mayor Pawel Adamovicz insists that the tournament’s legacy will live on.
Before the competition, there was widespread fear and speculation that racism in the host nations would affect the tournament.
But apart from some dubious weather, the city exceeded all expectations.
And Adamovicz inists that there was never any doubt that Gdansk would be hooligan-free.
“I think that Polish citizens in Gdansk and our region are very peaceful, very friendly and open to foreigners,” he said.
“I’m very proud that there was no hooliganism and no brutality. And the image Gdansk and the image Poland will be better and warmer than the BBC shows us to be.”
Indeed, the standout features of Gdansk’s 12 days of football were the colour and excitement of the fan zone in the Old Town.
And the mayor is hopeful that the half a billion euro investment in hosting the tournament will be well worth the money.
“Ninety percent of the cost of our infrastructure is for us – for my citizens,” he said.
“And we will use the infrastructure for many, many years in the future. This beautiful stadium is the only extra thing. Frankly, to say that without Euro 2012 this stadium wouldn’t exist….maybe for the next ten years we’d be trying to build the stadium.
“It was a good and optimistic decision taken in Cardiff a few years ago, for Poland and Ukraine to host Euro 2012.
“It enabled us to build the stadium, and I’m proud we have a beautiful stadium, and so are the citizens of Gdansk.”
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