President Victor Yushchenko has issued a decree to hold the Euro 2012 finals in Ukraine.
Yushchenko said during a meeting of the Euro 2012 Coordinating Council on Wednesday it was important to resolve all problems that could hamper the country’s ability to co-host Euro 2012 with Poland as quickly as possible. He criticized the government for failing to act fast enough and making the nation think the renewal of sports infrastructure will be “some kind of emergency job.” “We must soon put a full stop in all the issues regarding the organization of the Euro 2012 finals,” he said and added that UEFA inspectors would soon arrive in Ukraine to hear a report on what has been done and what will be done to host the event, president's press office reported.
Yushchenko said it was the government’s top priority to develop sports infrastructure. He expressed confidence all Euro 2012 venues would be built and renovated on time. “The answer to the question whether the championship will be held or not lies in the preparedness of our sports infrastructure,” he said.
The president said “much time has been lost” in upgrading the country’s road, rail and air links. He is particularly worried there is no state program to host the finals. “I think the coordination and preparations are so weak because we have no plan, no national program on how to do this job… I would like this to be a first day initiative as soon as parliament starts its work.”
Yushchenko said it was important to create favorable conditions for those wishing to invest in Euro 2012 projects: “I am convinced we must all regard it as our obligation to create a special investment climate.”
“We must maximally mobilize our efforts, formulate a road map, make structural and managerial decisions and act as one team when drafting next year’s budget in the context of Euro 2012 – there must be enough money in it,” he said, urging all officials to be more responsible. “This is a task of state importance on which the glory of the state and the nation depends.”
He said their next meeting should focus on how to implement regional and branch programs to prepare the country for the Euro 2012 finals.
President also said it was important to start renovation at Kyiv’s Olympic stadium and settle a row over an adjacent construction site with its investors. (UEFA and world body FIFA have previously complained that the site, if completed, would violate norms for allowing crowds to disperse from the stadium).
Yushchenko said the stadium would serve Ukraine for many years after the Euro 2012 championship finals and added that there must be no buildings in front of it.
He said it was a “strategic challenge” for Ukraine to create a modern soccer stadium in Kyiv. He thinks the country can do it by reconstructing the Olympic stadium.
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