Euro 2012 hosts Poland and Ukraine face Platini criticism

10:01, 25 September 2008
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At a meeting starting on Thursday

UEFA president Michel Platini is expected to take a break from criticising Arsene Wenger and switch to Poland`s and Ukraine`s lack of progress in preparing to host Euro 2012 at a meeting starting on Thursday, Reuters reported.

Platini, who made headlines by saying in a newspaper interview this week that Arsenal manager Wenger cared more about business than football, is likely to make clear, however, that both countries will keep the right to co-host the tournament.

The executive committee of soccer`s governing body should also endorse an expansion of the European Championship finals to 24 teams from 16 at its two-day meeting.

The head of UEFA may also get another chance to speak out against the introduction of video replays to help referees, a move asked for by many coaches including Wenger.

Platini has visited Poland and Ukraine twice this year and warned officials that they risked losing the right to stage the event if stadiums and infrastructure were not ready.

A progress report is expected to point out that there has been some improvement and stop short of recommending that UEFA withdraw Poland`s and Ukraine`s right to host the tournament.

"The report will be critical. But it is still too early for the committee to make a decision to take Euro 2012 away from the two countries," one UEFA official familiar with preparations for the meeting said.

Expansion of the European Championship finals to 24 teams from 2016 is expected to be agreed after senior officials of all 53 UEFA member nations backed the idea in June, despite criticism that it could dilute the quality of the event.

Changes to organisational arrangements for UEFA club competitions for the next three years and the launch of an investigation unit aimed at protecting the integrity of the game are also on a busy agenda.


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