Euro co-host Ukraine promises not to disappoint after UEFA decision

September 27th, 2008 - 1:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Kiev, Sep 27 (DPA) A senior Ukrainian football official said his country would not disappoint in the wake of UEFA’s decision not to remove the former Soviet republic as a co-host of the Euro 2012 football championship.”UEFA informed us that we should put more effort into infrastructure, and I can assure you this will be done in the very shortest timeframe,” said Hryhory Surkis, chairman of the Football Federation of Ukraine (FFU). “UEFA will be satisfied with us.”

“We appreciate the decision,” Surkis said in comments reported by the Interfax news agency. “It means that we can continue preparations.”

Surkis led the Polish-Ukrainian effort to win the right to host the European Championships and has been in the forefront of critics of the Ukrainian government for failing to take its obligations to get ready to host Euro 2012 seriously.

Commenting on Ukraine’s frequent political crises, and their possible effects on the former Soviet republic’s ability to get ready for Euro 2012, Surkis argued football united the country.

“In Ukraine there has never been, there is not, and nor can there ever be, opposition to hosting the final of the European football championship,” Surkis said.

“One should look at our sometimes political instability not as a risk factor, but as an indivisible part of the formation of a young democratic country,” he said.

Euro 2012’s apolitical status, and the wide popularity of football in Ukraine, would give projects needed to raise Ukraine’s hosting capacity to international standards “immunity” from political intrigues common to the country “no matter what group was in power,” Surkis argued.

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