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Listkiewicz denies German reports that Poland not ready for Euro 2012

SoccerNews in European Championships 25 Sep 2008

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Michal Listkiewicz, president of the Polish Football Association (PZPN), Thursday denied reports in the German press that he was worried about his country’s readiness to co-host Euro 2012.

Speaking after a UEFA meeting, Listkiewicz refuted reports in Hamburg newspaper Die Zeit Online on Wednesday, which quoted him as saying that Poland would have more chance of being ready if the tournament was in 2016.

“I have never spoken with the German media, perhaps last year but not recently. I never said those things,” Listkiewicz insisted.

“Euro 2012 has been awarded to the Ukraine and Poland and there is no reason for this to change,” he said, adding: “What makes me so confident? The progress we have made.

“Between what the observers could see in February and what they can today, many things have been improved – even if there is still work to be done with respect to hotels, airports and transfers between the venues.

He added: “There is still enough time.”

Die Zeit Online had reported the Polish official as saying: “If the European Championships took place in 2016, we would have no problem to be ready then. But realistically we are looking at having no good roads in time for 2012.”

Listkiewicz was also reported to have cast doubts over whether their Euro 2012 partners the Ukraine would be up to the job, citing logistical problems such as infrastructure and the distance between countries.

“If things don’t go well now, and UEFA has another suggestion, then that would be in order,” he was quoted as saying.

European football’s governing body UEFA are in Bordeaux to debate whether the Ukraine and Poland can still co-host the 2012 European Championship, with a decision expected Friday.

Though the Ukraine unveiled its first, newly-built 40-million-dollar arena recently and are building more arenas, doubts persist about the preparedness of the two countries.

When UEFA president Michel Platini visited both countries earlier this year he was unhappy at the lack of progress and warned officials they could lose the right to host Euro 2012 if considerable improvements were not made.

Fears were also voiced over security problems when police arrested 741 supporters after a street battle between rivals Polonia and Legia fans broke out.

The PZPN are also fighting a major corruption scandal involving dozens of coaches, referees and officials, while Listkiewicz has admitted problems with the stadium construction in Gdansk.

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