Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

February 1, 2008

Poland will be set for Euro 2012 kick-off: PM Tusk

Filed under: Poland — Ivan @ 8:06 am

WARSAW (AFP) — Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk has promised UEFA officials to speed up tardy preparations for the Euro 2012 finals that Poland and partner Ukraine are due to co-host.

“All is not lost,” Tusk said in an interview published by Poland’s Dziennik daily on Friday.

However, he acknowledged that “the scale of the neglect is very great, more than half a year was unnecessarily wasted and this is the period assessed by UEFA”, referring to a critical report by European football’s governing body.

UEFA chief Michel Platini said Wednesday that Poland and Ukraine faced a crucial period after concerns mounted over the state of preparations for Euro 2012.

“I have the distinct feeling that the next four to six months will be crucial in order to avoid any critical slippage in infrastructure projects and to protect the credibility of the Euro project,” Platini said in a statement.

“There is a need for creating government mobilisation by making the national authorities aware of the crucial need to set up a governance and management structure to lead all the projects related to Euro 2012,” Platini said.

Commenting on the UEFA study, Tusk told Dziennik: “I have the report on my desk and unfortunately it did not surprise me.”

He pinned the delays squarely on the previous conservative-nationalist government of Jaroslaw Kaczynski. Tusk’s liberal administration took office in November after scoring a landslide victory in a snap parliamentary election.

Tusk, who is known as a keen amateur footballer who tries not to miss his weekly games, called preparations for Euro 2012 “my personal responsibility”. He said he would meet with Platini soon to discuss plans for the event.

Sports Minister Miroslaw Drzewiecki on Friday unveiled plans for Poland’s future national stadium in Warsaw, due to host the Euro 2012 kick-off.

Designed by German architects JSK, the structure resembles a wicker basket in Poland’s national colours of red and white.

The new facility is to be constructed on the foundations of Warsaw’s derelict Decade Stadium, which until recently served as Europe’s largest open-air marketplace.

With a capacity of 55,000, the stadium is to have a fixed roof over seating areas, and a retractable roof over the pitch. The facility will also have 130,000 square metres of office space and 1,700 underground parking spaces.

Construction is due to begin in September and be completed by mid-2011.

According to Drzewiecki, “some of the conclusions drawn in the (UEFA) report are no longer true — this let us be optimistic and confident that Poles and Ukrainians will prove capable of organising the championships”.

Divided by Europe’s Schengen zone border between West and East, neighbours Poland and Ukraine will sign a cooperation agreement for Euro 2012 during Tusk’s February 26 visit to the Ukrainian capital Kiev.

In April last year, UEFA chose Poland and Ukraine to host the four-yearly tournament, which will bring together Europe’s 16 best footballing nations. Neither country has hosted a major championship before.


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