UEFA No Longer Worried Over Euro ’12 Preps. After Impressive Progress

June 9, 2011

Gianni Infantino, general secretary of European soccer’s governing body UEFA, has heaped praise on preparations for Euro 2012 and insisted that doubts about Poland and Ukraine’s ability to co-host the tournament have been “wiped out”.

The news comes as a huge result and boost to organisers after UEFA president Michel Platini questioned progress in the host countries last year after particular concerns were raised about stadia in the Ukrainian cities of Kiev and Lviv.

Since then, construction work at the Kiev venue is expected to be completed in August or September and Infantino said at a press conference yesterday, June 8, that all preparations were now on track exactly one year ahead of the start of the competition.

Infantino stated: “It is impressive what is going on in Ukraine. There are many milestones but we are now on the final straight and have achieved much in Poland and Ukraine. The road was not an easy ride – the project was at a high risk (of cancellation) due to delays to facilities. Our doubts have now been wiped out; we are going in the right direction at the right pace.”

Football Federation of Ukraine president Hryhoriy Surkis added: “Eighteen months ago we felt it (the project) was seriously threatened, but today no one doubts it. We are on the final lap.”

Infantino also expressed confidence that the recent spate of hooliganism in Poland would not be repeated at Euro 2012. “As far as hooliganism and crowd trouble are concerned, England had this problem for many years and have more or less eradicated it through the work of the government and the authorities. I am convinced that the same thing will be happening in Poland to stop this being a problem at Euro 2012.”

Polish Football Association chief Grzegorz Lato added: “There are measures in place to stop this (hooliganism) from happening again. I am sure that at Euro 2012 Polish people will be sitting next to English fans or Greeks or Spaniards and there will be no problem with hooliganism.”