Four Polish cities, Kiev named for Euro 2012

12:16, 13 May 2009
Ukraine
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Three Ukrainian cities have yet to prove their suitability

Three Ukrainian cities have yet to prove their suitability to stage matches in the 2012 European soccer championship while Kiev may also be stripped of the final, UEFA president Michel Platini said on Wednesday, Reuters reported.

Four cities in Poland were confirmed as venues -- Warsaw, Poznan, Wroclaw and Gdansk -- while Kiev was the only city from co-hosts Ukraine confirmed by Platini at a news conference in Bucharest.

Platini named Lviv, Donetsk and Kharkiv as the Ukrainian candidates awaiting confirmation with a final decision to be made Nov 30.

"There are still many problems to be resolved in Ukraine. There are huge infrastructure problems," Platini said.

Platini said Kiev was the only Ukraine city on the list, but would not definitely host the final as had been planned.

"The final match will be held in Kiev only if specific conditions with regard to the stadium, airport infrastructure regional transport and accommodation are met by November 30," Platini said.

"Kiev is OK according to UEFA`s criteria for all matches leading up to the semi-final. If it`s not Kiev it could be Warsaw."

Preparations for the tournament have been blighted since the two countries were announced as co-hosts by UEFA in April 2007.

The tournament, the last to be contested by 16 teams before 24 finalists take part from 2016, is scheduled to begin on June 9 and end on July 1 2012.

It will be the third to be co-hosted after Belgium and the Netherlands staged Euro 2000 and Austria and Switzerland jointly hosted last year`s Euro 2008 competition, but the build-up to 2012 has been fraught with concerns that were never an issue in the past.

Although UEFA has had few worries about Poland, apart from last September when it was warned it could lose the right to stage the tournament because of internal problems at the Polish FA (PZPN), it has frequently expressed concerns about Ukraine`s preparations.

Last month Platini went to both countries to evaluate their preparations and hinted that more matches could still be staged in Poland, although this now appears unlikely.

However Ukraine is in the grip of one of the worst economic crises in Europe and although stadium construction is one of the government`s priorities, the construction of hotels needed to host the event has stalled and is behind schedule.

Reuters

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