Victor Yushchenko met with members of Ukraine’s Euro 2012 delegation on Thursdayto congratulate them on yesterday's spectacular victory and thank those who had contributed their efforts and time to Ukraine and Poland’s triumph. “You won in a fair competition,” he said, president's press office reported.

He praised Tuesday’s presentation of the Euro 2012 joint bid in Cardiff, Wales.

“I was sure from the start that we had some unique advantages, including our presentation featuring the country’s sports megastars, which was very cordial and warm,” he said.

The Ukrainian leadersaid it was important for the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) to see that football is played and loved not only in France, Germany, and Italy.

“These countries have, no doubt, made a huge contribution to the development of football but I think it was one of the goals of UEFA to promote the game eastwards,” he said.

Speaking about the importance of staging such a global sporting event,Yushchenkosaid it would help us “illustrate our direct integration with the world and Europe” andsuggested forming an executive committee to formulate an agenda ofwhat should be done to hold the championship. He said Ukraine and Poland were represented by eighty million people “who find it important to be full members of the European community.” He added thatUkraine had no visa requirements for many of its neighbors, which should facilitate journeys of thousands of football fans wishing to attend the matches. He expressed confidenceEuro 2012would also helpimprovethe country'stourist and sporting infrastructures.

Grygoriy Surkis, President of the Ukraine Football Federation, said theyhad done theirbest "to present the two states, which have lots of things in common, worthily.” He said the presence of President Yushchenko and President Kaczynski of Poland during the final presentation in Cardiff showed that it was our national priority to host one of the most important sporting tournaments.

They all agreed that the event would unite the nation. Boxing champion Vitaly Klytchko said: “Sport is what can unite us all. We must work in this direction together.”

Then they presented a Euro 2012 candidate T-shirt to Yushchenko.
Photo: president's press office

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