Ukraine is “almost ready” to host its share of Euro 2012, UEFA head Michel Platini said Tuesday as he continued an inspection tour of match venues.

“There are no major problems in Euro 2012 preparations, but there are a great many small problems and tasks that still have to be resolved,” Platini said during a visit to the eastern city Kharkiv for a gala opening of a VIP airport terminal.

“But ... everything is in great shape, and we will have a splendid Euro in this country,” he said.

A UEFA delegation led by Platini was on the second of a two—day tour of all four Ukrainian cities scheduled to hold Euro 2012 matches. Poland is a co—host for the June tournament.

After a visit to Kiev’s Olympic stadium, planned site for the Euro 2012 final, the UEFA delegation met Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukokych.

“I went out onto the grass of the (Olympic) stadium and kicked a goal,” Platini joked to reporters. “So I can say for sure that that stadium is ready.” Platini at a series of press conferences singled an incomplete roof in the Lviv stadium and too—short runways at Donetsk airport as preparation jobs particularly needing attention.

“We still have to work on problems in the transportation and in the hotel industry,” he said. “But I am sure this will be resolved.” Borys Kolesnkikov, Ukraine’s vice premier for preparation for Euro 2012, and Hryhory Surkis, head of the Federation of Football, led the group of Ukrainian officials accompanying Platini. Surkis said the Ukrainian portion of Euro 2012 would run smoothly.

“The problems we are facing are not unique,” Surkis said, in response to a reporter’s question about his country’s ability to control possible infringement of UEFA copyrights.

The cities Kiev, Lviv, Kharkiv and Lviv are Ukraine’s designated game sites.

Ukrainian media has named low quality hotels, a Soviet—era transportation network and historically low service standards as the most intractable problems faced by the country’s Euro 2012 organizers.

Sports observers have widely predicted Ukrainian hotel room shortfalls, particularly in the low— and mid—range price category, and especially during later Euro 2012’s later stages, when matches are likely to be played before capacity crowds.

Donetsk mayor Aleksandr Lukyanchenko during a press conference with Platini said his city would resolve its hotel room shortage by chartering planes for fans to travel to Donetsk — a city not usually visited by tourists — from the capital Kiev, where there are more hotels.


Related Post