Ukraine government steps up Euro 2012 role after UEFA nod
The president and PM will be directly responsible for preparations
Ukrainian authorities on Monday said they were taking measures to streamline and improve planning for Euro 2012 soccer championship after UEFA upheld the ex-Soviet state`s right to co-host the event with Poland.
UEFA President Michel Platini said at an executive committee meeting in Bordeaux last week that the two host countries would be subjected to a number of conditions and could still lose the tournament if they failed to meet them.
The chief stumbling block remains stadiums in both countries, but also transport infrastructures, airports and hotels.
Deputy Ukrainian Prime Minister Ivan Vasyunik told a news conference preparations would soon be placed under the direct responsibility of the president and prime minister.
"The government views the UEFA decision in Bordeaux as an expression of trust in Ukraine and its ability to co-host Euro 2012 with Poland," he said.
"The UEFA decision is not an amnesty for our country. Work is only just getting under way. And there is plenty of work to do in both countries."
Reconstruction of Kiev`s Olympic stadium, due to host the final, had been a sticking point, with more than a year lost in dismantling an adjacent shopping centre and choosing a design and contractor. Vasyunik said the project was now going well, though concerns remained over a stadium in the western city of Lviv .
Grigoriy Surkis, federation president and prime mover behind Ukraine`s bid, said officials had spent 18 months sorting out relations with various bodies.
"We can waste no more time. Everyone must work responsibly and at top speed," he said. "UEFA will be constantly monitoring us."
Platini said completion of stadiums in both Warsaw and Kiev were the prime issue.
"The Kiev and Warsaw governments must deliver," he said.
Platini twice visited Ukraine this year and expressed concern at the pace of preparations. The two ex-communist neighbours were chosen last year over rival bids from Italy and a joint submission from Hungary and Croatia.
Platini said at the Bordeaux meeting that an inspection visit in May next year would decide which stadiums, and how many, would be used for the tournament.Reuters