Ukraine Passes UEFA Test On Euro 2012 Preparations

Ukraine has passed UEFA's latest test to show it is capable of co-hosting the 2012 European Championship with Poland. UEFA said Ukraine's political and football leaders answered concerns _ especially over delayed stadium and airport
ukraine passes uefa test on euro 2012...
PTI June 03, 2010 17:35 IST

Ukraine has passed UEFA's latest test to show it is capable of co-hosting the 2012 European Championship with Poland.

UEFA said Ukraine's political and football leaders answered concerns _ especially over delayed stadium and airport upgrades _ with a "strong agenda" of project deadlines at a meeting Wednesday. The European football authority said Kiev showed "no signs" it would fail to meet UEFA's demand to host the Euro 2012 final.

Deputy prime minister Boris Kolesnykov said Ukraine's progress will next be evaluated in September. "Everything is in the hands of Poland and Ukraine, and we should work, work and work," Kolesnykov told The Associated Press through a translator. Wednesday's meeting of the Euro 2012 steering group had been given added importance by UEFA president Michel Platini.

Platini said in April that Ukraine had two months to improve its preparations or risk being stripped of hosting rights. He later hinted that Germany or Hungary could team with Poland. Ukraine's updated plan includes targets for specific projects "spread between now and summer 2011," UEFA said.

"There is no reason for UEFA to look into alternatives _ so-called 'Plan B' _ if this plan is respected and delivered," it said in a statement.

Ukraine is expected to provide four host cities alongside Poland's Warsaw, Gdansk, Poznan and Wroclaw.

But construction of stadiums, hotels, transport and other infrastructure in Kiev, Donetsk, Kharkiv and Lviv has been delayed by the world financial crisis, political problems before January's presidential election and severe winter weather.

UEFA has considered using just two Ukrainian cities, though even then on strict condition that Kiev's remodeled, 63,000-capacity Olympic Stadium can stage the final.

"There are, however, no signs at all today that Kiev will not be in a position to host Euro 2012," UEFA said.

Kolesnykov, who was given Euro 2012 responsibility by Ukraine's new president Viktor Yanukovych, said he was not unhappy with progress.

"I will be happy when the final match is played in Kiev," he said. "And even happier when all our citizens in the four cities will be seeing the matches."

Euro 2012 is scheduled to involve 16 national teams playing a total of 31 matches from June 8-July 1. AP

 
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