Ukrainian Hotels Overcharging Euro 2012 England Fans, Says Uefa Chief

LONDON, England -- England fans are being ripped off by Ukrainian hotels as the European Championship approaches, Uefa has admitted.

UEFA official David Taylor.

Some accommodation for this summer's tournament has trebled in price from its usual rate, with guests being charged up to £1,500 ($2,367) for a three-night stay.

Ukrainian hotels are already two or three times more expensive than those in co-hosts Poland and the chief executive of Uefa's events arm, David Taylor, accused the former Soviet republic of blowing a great chance to paint their country in a positive light.

England play all their group games in Ukraine, which will also host their quarter-final if they qualify, one of the two semi-finals, and the final.

Taylor said: "The issue with Ukrainian hotels is largely, at the moment, around the high prices that are being charged for accommodation at one-, two- and three-star hotels.

The prices are very high.

"It is possible to find lower-priced accommodation if you search, but you need to search because some of the prices immediately available on websites seem to be at the high end of what they should be.

"In the long run, it doesn't help Ukraine to have people think twice about coming, simply because they're put off by the cost of hotel nights. There are cheaper options – I would emphasise that – if people look for them."

He added: "The normal hotel price in Ukraine is two or three times the price of a hotel room in Poland in any event. So it is a question of scarcity but we also notice there are certain hotels looking to try to 'maximise' – which is to be expected.

"As we get nearer the start of the tournament, I think they will be wanting to sell their rooms."

Uefa is urging supporters to monitor the accommodation section on the Euro 2012 page of their official website to avoid being ripped off.

Taylor said: "It's up to us to try to publicise these cheaper options but also to work with the governmental authorities to impress upon hoteliers this is a real chance to get people to come and visit Ukraine – it's a fantastic country – and get them to come back.

"At the end of the day, Uefa doesn't set hotel prices but we know that's an issue for some fans."

Source: The Guardian