Will UEFA be haunted for good by Euro 2012?

May 13, 2009

Yet again I find myself asking the question: why did UEFA award Euro 2012 to Poland and Ukraine?

Questions marks have again been raised over the decision by European soccer’s governing body after it was yet again forced to set another deadline for Ukraine to meet is criteria for a number of its venues.

So has anything changed since I wrote a blog from the UEFA crunch meeting in Bordeaux last September when both countries were given a final warning over their lacklustre preparations for European soccer’s top event?

Poland seems to have made steady progress on its stadiums at least but UEFA sources say the related infastructure such as transport links and accommodation are still questionable.

Ukraine, reeling from the impact of the worst financial crisis in nearly 80 years, is still way behind and has been warned they risk losing the right to stage the final in Kiev if they don’t get their act together before November 30.

How many warnings does a country need before delivering upon its promises? Does UEFA have a plan B if the Kiev government fails to meet the deadline?

Or as some cynical analysts suggest, is this a neat exit strategy for Ukraine? It has been one of the countries hardest hit by the global economic slump, having had to ask for a huge loan from the International Monetary Fund.

Some commentators say if UEFA takes away the final or there is a major imbalance between the number of games played in Ukraine compared to neighbouring Poland, Kiev may use it as an excuse to withdraw and save face by blaming the governing body and its co-host.

Ukrainian officials have played down any worries and say they expect four cities from each nation to host matches.

Whatever happens — even if Ukraine and Poland manage to satisfy UEFA in November — the decision to allow the two to stage the event will haunt the governig body and its president Michel Platini for some time to come.

PHOTO: UEFA President Michel Platini speaks to the media during a news conference in Warsaw April 16, 2009. REUTERS/Peter Andrews


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May be it is not too late to ask for help from Germany. May be the Germans are quite spontaneous … at least in terms of football. They would probably take their chance and celebrate a great football party with their polish neighbours. But lets hope Ukraine will make it in time. And after all: It has always been discussions. Will Athens get everything done in time, will South Africa … it always gets done in time. GREAT BLOB, cheers Dorothea

Posted by dorothea | Report as abusive

What a melodramatic excuse for an \”article\”. Poland still has a lot of work to do but did you miss the part where Platini said they\’re on track? I don\’t know where you got the idea that UEFA regrets naming Poland as one of the hosts.

As for a plan B if Ukraine can\’t speed up its preparations, according to Platini it\’ll simply be four Polish cities and the 2 best prepared Ukrainian cities. Germany is not being considered and it would be ridiculous to give them Euros when they already hosted the World Cup only a few years ago. It\’s a fact that teams benefit greatly from playing at home so giving one country that advantage twice in such a short space of time would be unacceptable in my opinion.

Posted by cdn | Report as abusive

You have no idea what’s the situation in Poland. 6 cities in Poland are well prepared for Euro 2012 – this is 2 more than UEFA wanted. The stadiums will be bigger and better than in Austria and Switzerland.
Not to mention the thing this is EURO2012 so it means it for whole continent and you people know only names of a few countries and think this is Europe!
Before you write this kind of articles you first should check the details.

Poland and Ukraine as one of the biggest countries in Europe have every right to host the European Championship.

Posted by michael | Report as abusive

Economically Ukraine would be better off if the games were cancelled. There is much more important things that Ukraine needs to finance before a football match. Yes the Euroepan Cup is a prestige event and yes there is some limited economic benefit BUT should Ukraine’s priority and limited public resources be spent on this event at this time in their economic development. 2012 will be a difficult year for any nation least a developing nation.

It would be great if UEFA could answer the substantive question? “Why did UEFA award Euro 2012 to Poland and Ukraine?” Why did they not wait and ward these countries the games in 2020?

Posted by John | Report as abusive

I hope Ukraine will make it.
I want to go to Poland and Ukraine to see euro cup.
I think it is going to be something bigger than regular cup.

Posted by Rob | Report as abusive

Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine powered by http://www.eurocup.org

Posted by rudybronx | Report as abusive