Ukraine Coach Concerned About Kiev Stadium For Euro 2012

KIEV, Ukraine -- A dispute surrounding a construction site next to Kiev's main stadium could lead to Ukraine losing the chance to host the final of the 2012 European championship, national coach Oleg Blokhin warned on Monday.

Current Kiev Olympic Stadium

Ukraine are co-hosting the tournament with Poland but both FIFA and UEFA have said the construction of a shopping and leisure centre by Kiev's 84,000-seat Soviet-era Olympic stadium would break safety rules by blocking some emergency exits.

President Viktor Yushchenko issued a decree in September, ordering the dismantling of the half-built facility but compensation is still being worked out.

"If the complex being built in front of the Olympic Stadium is not torn down then we may not have a tournament," Blokhin was quoted by news agencies as saying.

"If this continues -- that the president talks, the government talks, and the Kiev mayor talks but all these problems remain unresolved -- then I think we will be left without Euro 2012."

Former communist Ukraine and Poland must undertake a colossal amount of work on stadiums, transport infrastructure and hotels to prepare for one of the world's largest sporting events.

Source: Guardian Unlimited