Accessibility links

Breaking News

Poland, Ukraine Defiant Despite Doubts Over Hosting Euro 2012

UEFA President Michel Platini
WARSAW -- The prime ministers of Poland and Ukraine have vowed to prove the skeptics wrong and make the 2012 European Championship an organizational triumph after doubts over their readiness to host the championship.

"We are two countries but must try to be one team and together we will overcome all the obstacles on the road to Euro 2012," Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko told a joint news conference with her Polish counterpart Donald Tusk on July 14.

Last month, UEFA President Michel Platini said Poland and Ukraine risked losing the right to host Euro 2012 if stadiums in their capitals were not ready. He said UEFA would make a decision on that at a meeting in France in late September.

Ex-communist Poland and the ex-Soviet republic of Ukraine face a colossal task upgrading stadiums, building hotels, and overhauling infrastructure including roads and airports if they are to stage their biggest international event yet.

"We are aware that there are countries interested in us failing and the only succesful rebuke to that will be better coordination and solidarity in our actions," Tusk said.

Eight venues have been selected to host matches -- Warsaw, Poznan, Wroclaw, and Gdansk in Poland and Kyiv, Donetsk, Lviv, and Dnipropetrovsk in Ukraine.

Polish sports officials have said Poland, which is richer and more developed than Ukraine, could provide six of the venues required if its eastern neighbor was not ready in time.