Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

September 21, 2007

Ukraine leader seeks solution on Euro stadium

Filed under: Stadiums,Ukraine — Ivan @ 2:35 am

By Ron Popeski

KANIV, Ukraine, Sept 19 (Reuters) – Ukraine’s president says he is pressing Kiev authorities to solve a row over a building site which threatens to disqualify the city’s main stadium from hosting the final of the 2012 European football championship.

Viktor Yushchenko was speaking after UEFA president Michel Platini said Kiev’s 84,000-seat Olympic stadium could not be used for Euro 2012, to be held jointly with Poland, unless construction of a nearby shopping centre was halted.

“I issued new instructions three days ago for Kiev city authorities to take appropriate decisions on this matter in conjunction with the owners of the site,” Yushchenko told Reuters in an interview late on Tuesday in central Ukraine.

“I met the owner and he said he was prepared to take a wrecker’s ball and demolish the site if (international football officials) confirm that this is a vital condition for the stadium to function.”

The site owner was also prepared, he said, to amend building plans “including norms on the ground level concerning proper evacuation (of fans)” — UEFA’s chief concern.

International football authorities have long warned that unless the construction is stopped they will withdraw permission to hold matches at the stadium.

SPACE LIMITATIONS

Ukraine’s Interior Ministry this month, citing crowd control concerns, limited ticket sales to 41,000 at Ukraine’s European 2008 qualifying match against Italy.

In a letter last week to the head of Ukraine’s football federation, Platini said blockage of exits and space limitations meant the stadium “clearly cannot host matches for Euro 2012. We therefore hope and believe that the appropriate state bodies in Ukraine will adopt the necessary decisions immediately.”

Yushchenko, who played a key role in Ukraine and Poland winning the right earlier this year to host Euro 2012, has issued a decree ordering the dismantling of the building site.

Four Ukrainian cities are to host matches — Dipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Kiev and Lviv.

Ukraine and Poland, both ex-communist countries, face huge logistical tasks in upgrading transport and communication links and building hotels.

In his comments to Reuters, Yushchenko renewed criticism of the early organisation. He has already accused the government, led by his arch rival Viktor Yanukovich, of failing to take preparations seriously.

“Many things that were supposed to have been completed by the organising committee have not been implemented,” he said. “I have sent several letters warning the organising committee to change its approach towards the construction timetable.”

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1 Comment

  1. Drasko:Thank you for the title to your post! Although I don’t think the situation in Ukraine will lead to a civil war, it is of csoure possible. When a crisis keeps getting escalated, bloodshed often is the result. Ultimately it is up to the Ukrainian people not to getted sucked into the political battle.Just last evening I rented the Serbian movie “Pretty Village, Pretty Flame” about Bosnia. I was so saddened by the whole thing I had strange dreams all night. What a tragedy the whole thing was. The only thing that heartened me was the fact that this movie was Serbian, that Serbs understand the disintegration of Yugoslavia not as a heroic event, but as a descent into some kind of horrible primitive condition. This movie showed me that portrayal of Serbs as destroyers of Yugoslavia could not be further from the mark.

    Comment by Listwa — April 13, 2014 @ 3:38 am

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