Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

February 3, 2008

UEFA chief Platini says next few months crucial for Euro 2012

Filed under: Poland,Ukraine — Ivan @ 8:05 am

ZAGREB (AFP) — UEFA chief Michel Platini said Wednesday that Euro 2012 joint-hosts Poland and Ukraine faced a crucial period after concerns mounted over the state of preparations for the event.

“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.”

The statement was issued after a two-day meeting of UEFA’s executive committee, held in the Croatian capital, which reviewed a report on progress and preparations that the two countries have made in hosting the championships.

Political instability in the two nations now seems to be over with newly-established governments taking power but there were fears that the launch of investment-intensive projects such as stadiums, airports and motorways has suffered from the instability.

Meanwhile UEFA General Secretary David Taylor insisted that there were no plans to move the tournament to another country.

“We are not thinking about that at all at the moment,” Taylor told journalists.

He admitted there were “some difficulties” caused by the political instability in the two countries during the past few months.

“These difficulties are now behind us. The two governments are committed to making this work,” Taylor stressed.

“We certainly are not in the position of approaching and discussing alternative locations with any country at this stage at all. We categorically deny that.”

Asked by journalists what will happen if the conditions to successfully organize the Euro 2012 are not met within the next six months, Taylor replied that the body would then completely review the situation.

“Hopefully by that time we can say we are now firmly on track,” he said.

Polish sports minister Miroslaw Drzewiecki told journalists later on Wednesday that the report showed the “state of preparations up till mid-November.

“Two months later we are in the fortunate situation whereby certain conclusions in the report are no longer an issue, which allows us to remain optimistic and confident that the Poles and Ukrainians will show themselves capable of organising this tournament.”

In April, 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.

Source:afp

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