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Euro 2008 organisers confident successors will be ready

SoccerNews in European Championships 29 Jul 2008

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Euro 2008 chief organiser Martin Kallen said Tuesday he was confident that Poland and Ukraine would be ready to stage the event without a hitch in 2012.

Both countries have been under pressure to deliver amid fears that they are lagging behind with logistical and infrastructural preparations, but Kallen, a Swiss, said he was “not worried.”

“We were in the two countries at the start of July under UEFA president Michel Platini and it was a good trip,” Kallen said.

Two weeks ago Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk and his Ukrainian counterpart Yulia Timoshenko pledged their countries will be ready, UEFA having chosen the neighbours as co-hosts for the quadrennial, 16-nation championships.

The choice raised eyebrows because neither the Poles nor Ukrainians have hosted a major tournament before and there have been concerns about the ability of both ex-communist states to meet the massive challenge of building required stadia and transport and hotel links in time.

Platini, after his visit, gave Poland a cautious thumbs up but failed to offer Ukraine as positive a read out.

Platini set both hosts a final deadline to prove their mettle: they have until UEFA's next executive committee session, scheduled in the French city of Bordeaux on September 25-26.

Kallen has indicated that Platini wants to see separate organising committees for both nations.

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