Ukraine insists on four Euro 2012 venues

March 3rd, 2009 - 3:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Kiev (Ukraine), March 3(DPA) Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko said his country would provide all four planned venues for the Euro 2012 competition despite severe financial problems.
Speaking to reporters in Kiev, Yushchenko rejected a Polish media suggestion that six of the eight venues for the tournament be in Poland, and that Ukraine’s host share be reduced from four to two sites.

“We have all indications that we can guarantee a normal preparation process (for Euro 2012),” Yushchenko said.

A final announcement of the four Ukrainian cities set to host the games is scheduled in early May. Two Ukrainian cities, Donetsk and Dnipropetrovsk, are well advanced in stadium preparation, and a long-delayed overhaul of a stadium here re-started early January. The three cities were identified as probable game venues in 2007.

New stadium construction in Ukraine’s fourth originally-planned host city, Lviv, is in contrast badly behind schedule, with ground yet to be broken and a general contractor still not named.

UEFA President Michel Platini in January said the tournament games would take place in the Polish and Ukrainian cities most ready to host them, “no matter what country.”

Polish and Ukrainian media last month reported that delays in Ukrainian stadium construction and Platini’s position on the issue had made likely a UEFA transfer of two game venues from Ukraine to Poland, leaving the cities of Kiev and Donetsk the only Ukrainian cities to host the games.

The switch, were it to take place, would leave unused the fully-modernized Meteor stadium in Dnipropetrovsk, a 43,000 set arena currently the only stadium in Ukraine or Poland fully up to Euro 2012 standards, Ukraine’s Channel 5 television reported.

Business leaders in the east Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, where a stadium overhaul is well under way and tourist infrastructure is substantial, are keen to grab host duties from western Lviv.

Lviv city leaders have, despite a shambolic preparation so far, rubbished the idea that Kharkiv or any Polish city could take over Euro 2012 host duties.

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