An Austrian construction company has pulled out of a project to build a football stadium in Ukraine for the 2012 European Championship, further threatening the country`s rights to co-host the tournament, AP reported.
UEFA declined to comment on the delay Thursday but referred to a statement it released late September, saying that "any slackening could put in doubt the organization of this tournament in these countries."
Austria-based company Alpine backed out of the project last week after a financial dispute with the city government of Lviv, where the stadium is to be built, company spokeswoman Karin Keglevich said.
"The city administration wants the stadium built for euro85 million ($116 million), and that`s including 20 percent value-added tax," Keglevich said. "Everyone who knows just a little bit about the construction of football stadiums will acknowledge that this is just impossible."
Both Ukraine and co-host Poland have been warned multiple times by European football`s governing body to speed up their preparations for Euro 2012.
UEFA will decide in the first half of 2009 how many stadiums and cities will be used as venues, with a minimum of six and maximum of eight. The number of venues will not necessarily be the same in each country.
According to Keglevich, another euro40 million ($54.6 million) would be needed to complete the construction project in Lviv, which includes a 30,000 capacity football stadium, parking lots, a sports arena and all associated infrastructure.
Oleh Zasadnyi, the head of the Lviv`s Euro 2012 preparations department, said the city still had a good chance to be chosen by UEFA as a host venue.
"We absolutely can manage to meet the deadline, we are keeping up with the schedule," Zasadnyi said. "We estimate our chances to be chosen as host city as very high because Lviv is one of the main cities in Ukraine."
Zasadnyi said his department had already received offers from at least three other construction companies to build the stadium. A new contractor will be chosen soon, he said, but declined to give the companies` names.
The city administration commissioned Alpine to provide the project planning in December last year.
The project was approved and the building permits were obtained, but both parties couldn`t agree on the costs.
"We enjoy a good reputation in stadium construction and we won`t ruin that by doing a project which is financially impossible," Keglevich said.
Alpine built the Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany, as well as the Woerthersee Stadium in Klagenfurt and the Tivoli Stadium in Innsbruck, Austria, which both were used at Euro 2008 in June.