Platini warns hosts to speed up Euro 2012 plans
Poland, Ukraine riske losing the right to stage Euro-2012?
Poland and Ukraine were told by UEFA president Michel Platini on Wednesday to speed up their preparations for the 2012 European soccer championship, according to Reuters.
Platini did not go as far as saying the two countries risked losing the right to stage the tournament in four and a half years time, but said their preparations for the tournament must be improved.
"I have the distinct feeling that the next four to six months will be crucial in order to avoid any critical slippage in sports and public infrastructure projects and to protect the global credibility of the Euro project itself," Platini said during executive committee discussions of the planning stage.
UEFA recognised preparations had suffered because of political instability in the two countries since they were awarded the championship last April.
Platini called on the governments of the two countries to set up proper management structures in order to closely monitor "all the projects related to Euro 2012".
Michal Listkiewicz, the president of the Polish FA told Reuters: "It is true that we are behind in some projects because of the political turbulence of last year but we are confident that everything will be back on schedule."
In a statement, UEFA said it took a "momentous decision" last April and gave a strong message to central and eastern Europe by awarding the championship to Poland and Ukraine.
"UEFA is totally committed to do everything possible in the next few months to assist and support the two associations at both the advisory and administrative level in order to guarantee the success of the project," added Platini.