Thursday, December 12, 2019

Coming months crucial for Ukraine´s Euro 2012 plans, Platini

SoccerNews in European Championships 3 Jul 2008

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Ukraine's ability to co-host Euro 2012 depends on what the country can achieve over the coming three months, UEFA president Michel Platini said here on Thursday.

French football legend Platini has issued repeated warnings to Ukraine and co-hosts Poland, who in April 2007 were UEFA's surprise pick to host the 2012 edition of the quadrennial, 16-nation championships, beating Italy and joint bidders Hungary and Croatia.

Platini has set the two countries a September 24 deadline to prove they are on target with their preparations.

“The coming three months will be very important for Ukraine,” Platini told reporters at the end of a meeting with Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko. “Things can advance in a very, very positive manner,” he added.

Platini, who described his impressions as “superb” after talks with the president and Prime Minister Yulia Timochenko, said he had received “oral guarantees” on the start of preparations.

“We now have meetings with all the experts in three months. And the final, final, final decision will be taken in Bordeaux at the end of September at the UEFA executive committee meeting.

“We still have the intention of doing the maximum so that conditions are met to go and play in Poland and Ukraine.”

The Ukrainian leaders also moved to ease concerns over the country's potential readiness.

“Ukraine guarantees that in 2012 we will organise this event at the highest level,” Yushchenko said after talks with Platini.

Timochenko added: “We will do everything, even the impossible, so it becomes a great party for the whole world and Ukraine be a good partner.”

Euro 2012 marks UEFA's first major foray into the former communist bloc, where the challenges are massive.

Besides new stadiums, Poland and Ukraine have to bring their air, rail and road transport services and hotel sectors up to scratch to cope with the influx of fans.

Amid concerns about Poland and Ukraine's capability, other nations have already begun pitching themselves as alternative hosts.

But Poland received a thumbs up from the 10-strong UEFA delegation on Wednesday.

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