UEFA Says Ukraine Has Broken Euro 2012 Promises

MANCHESTER, England -- UEFA’s Euro 2012 operations director Martin Kallen says that not all the work promised by co-hosts Ukraine will be completed before the tournament in June next year. But he insists that “all key football assets” will be ready.

Martin Kallen spoke about Euro 2012 preparations in a panel discussion at Soccerex today.

Speaking at the Soccerex European Forum in Manchester, Kallen dismissed suggestions that UEFA may still strip Ukraine of its right to co-host the tournament

“We have no other way, we have to be ready in 2012,” he said, praising the commitment of the country’s authorities to deliver projects in time for the June 2012 kick-off.

“If I speak with the people from the authorities – from the government, from the cities – they are very committed and motivated,” he said.

“For them it is very important to show to Europe and the world that they are a very modern country, that it’s a country where people can invest.

"It’s even more important from their side to show Europe and also the world.

“They are doing their utmost to arrive, but I think that not all of the projects that were promised will be completed to 100%.”

Asked to elaborate on which aspects of Ukrainian plans would not be ready, he revealed that not all of the 2,300km of Ukrainian highway would be completed, while some of the promised tram systems would not be ready.

“All key football assets will be complete,” he added.

UEFA dismisses Euro 2012 hooliganism fears

Kallen played down concerns about football hooliganism, saying that he did not think it would be an issue at next year’s tournament.

Last Friday, around 200 Polish fans were involved in rioting before a friendly match against Lithuania in Kaunas.

Kallen said he was optimistic the tournament would be played in a good atmosphere, emphasising that security was UEFA’s “number one priority.” But he admitted that having enough private stewarding posed a challenge.

“We have the legal ground to work, now it’s to have enough private security stewarding,” he said.

“It is a real challenge. It is not a subject that is easily happening to have 7,000 people in each country trained for events. That’s a major challenge we have in both countries.”

Marcin Herra, president of the Polish local organising committee, said that €19 billion of infrastructure work was under way in Poland, making it one of the biggest building sites in Europe.

He said that 87 per cent of projects were on schedule.

Herra admitted that on taking his job three years ago the status of the tournament “wasn’t very optimistic”, but claimed Poland was now on the “safe side"

He foresaw Poland’s biggest challenges over the next 14 months coming with the commissioning of new airports early next year.

Herra added that Poland had benefited from the economic crisis, which had had a deflationary impact on costs.

“This may be a little provocative, but the crisis was very good for us because we had a more competitive market for construction companies,” he said.

“Prices were a little bit more competitive than before the crisis, so we can build with more quality.”

Source: World Football Insider