Ukraine will host the Euro 2012 European Football Championship properly, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych said in an interview with Israeli Haaretz newspaper, posted in the Sport-Express newspaper.

"We've surprised everyone. We've built stadiums, and built roads within a short period of time. The construction of terminals is coming to an end. Ukraine is too fond of football to refuse [to host] the European Championship," Yanukovych said.

The head of state admitted that in the spring of 2010 the situation with Ukraine's preparations for Euro 2012 was disastrous.

"Nothing was done except for the Donbas Arena in Donetsk, no stadiums, no hotels, nor roads, nor airports... They said we could lose two of the four host cities, which meant the loss of the tournament as a whole. Advisers warned me that we simply may be unable to catch up within the time frames set by UEFA," the president said.

However, President Yanukovych said he was able to convince UEFA President Michel Platini that Ukraine would manage to prepare for the tournament on time.

"For four hours he [Platini] tried to convince me that there was not one chance to build everything within less than two years. For the last hour I was trying to convince him otherwise - that through hard work and global interest we will be able to defend holding the Euro 2012 in Ukraine," the president said.

"It was so pleasant to hear Platini's words when he arrived a year later - in the spring of 2011. The first thing he told me at the meeting was 'It's fantastic. I can't believe my eyes,'" Yanukovych said.

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