Victor Yushchenko met with members of Ukraine’s Euro 2012 delegation on Thursday to congratulate them on their spectacular victory and thank those who had contributed their efforts and time to Ukraine and Poland’s triumph, according to the President`s press-office. “You won in a fair competition,” he said.

      The Ukrainian leader praised Tuesday’s presentation of the Euro 2012 joint bid in Cardiff, Wales.

      “I was sure from the start that we had some unique advantages, including our presentation, which was very cordial and warm,” he said, adding that Ukraine’s presentation had featured the country’s sports megastars.

      He said it was important for UEFA (the Union of European Football Associations) to see that football is played and loved not only in France, Germany and Italy.

      “These countries have, no doubt, made a huge contribution to the development of football but I think it was one of the goals of UEFA to promote the game eastwards,” he said.

      Speaking about the importance of staging such a global sporting event in Ukraine, he said it would help us “illustrate our direct integration with the world and Europe.”

Yushchenko suggested forming an executive committee to plan what should be done to hold the championship. He said Ukraine and Poland were represented by eighty million people “who find it important to be full members of the European community.” He said Ukraine had no visa requirements for many of its neighbors, which should facilitate journeys of thousands of football fans wishing to attend the Euro 2012 matches. He added that the finals were very important to improve our tourist and sporting infrastructures.

      Grygoriy Surkis, President of the Ukraine Football Federation, said: “We did our best to present the two states, which have lots of things in common, worthily.”

      He said the presence of President Yushchenko and President Kaczynski of Poland during the final presentation in Cardiff showed that it was our national priority to host one of the most important sporting tournaments. They all agreed that the event should help unite the nation.

      Boxing champion Vitaly Klytchko said: “Sport is what can unite us all. We must work in this direction together.”

      Then they presented a Euro 2012 candidate T-shirt to Yushchenko.