Victor Yushchenko attended a ceremony on Tuesday to present awards to the national football team and their coaches, president's press office reported.

“Football is a great power which unites not only our nation but also different nations and continents,” he said, adding that this game “offers new opportunities for Ukraine’s development.”

The President praised the players for their excellent showing during last year’s World Cup in Germany: “This was a perfect chance to see the nation united and driven by the desire to support our guys and win.” He thanked them for their “masterful job” and said they had helped Ukrainian football become a “chapter” of the European and world history.

He also thanked the head coach, Oleh Blohin, honored with the Yaroslav the Wise Order: “I believe that the national team led by Oleh Volodymyrovych will gain many more wonderful victories to make Ukraine famous.”

The President said the UEFA Voting Committee would soon decide which country would host Euro 2012.

“We hope this selection will confirm Ukraine’s capabilities of holding such an event,” he said.

He added that Ukraine was interested in hosting the European championship because “each event we hold together with the European community makes our society closer to Europe.” “This is a stimulus for the development of national football. This is a demonstration of our European nature and an additional means of European integration.”

Yushchenko said he had recently met with Joseph Blatter and understood that the FIFA President "promotes Ukraine worldwide." 

Captain Andriy Shevchenko presented a symbolic football uniform to the President.

Victor Yushchenko viewed an exhibition of children’s drawings and letters to support Poland and Ukraine’s bid to host Euro 2012. He also visited the football museum to see awards of Ukrainian footballers. 


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