Ukraine Will Be Ready For Euro 2012, Says President

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine will be ready to stage the 2012 European championship if selected to co-host the event with neighbouring Poland, the country's president was quoted as saying on Thursday.

President Viktor Yushchenko, who sees the joint bid as a step in helping ex-Soviet Ukraine move into the European mainstream, made the comment in talks with a visiting UEFA delegation.

"Ukraine is working towards improving its transport, sports and tourism infrastructure to create the best conditions to hold the 2012 European championship," Yushchenko's press service quoted him as saying.

The bid is up against Italy and a similar joint proposal from Croatia and Hungary.

Both Poland and Ukraine hope their combined population of 80 million and the proposal to hold the first such final in eastern Europe in the post-communist era will work in their favour.

Officials in both Warsaw and Kiev this week downplayed any suggestion the bid might be hit by an inquiry announced by the Polish government this week into the country's football association with accusations of mass match-fixing.

The bid has also been dogged by a row over a construction site by Kiev's main stadium which has prompted warnings from FIFA that it could withdraw permission to hold major matches there because of violation of safety norms.

Yushchenko in June asked Kiev city authorities to take steps to ensure the construction plans met FIFA concerns.

UEFA will announce the winning bid for 2012 in December.

Source: Reuters