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Rediff.com  » Sports » Ukraine cities get Euro 2012 green light

Ukraine cities get Euro 2012 green light

December 11, 2009 20:12 IST

Ukrainian cities Kiev, Lviv, Donetsk and Kharkiv will host matches in the 2012 European football championship, UEFA said on Friday, with Kiev confirmed as the venue for the final.

European football's governing body had delayed the decision over hosting matches in all the proposed Ukrainian cities except Kiev after the slow progress of infrastructure projects.

"I'm pleased to tell that thanks to the tremendous efforts of the Ukrainian government we can finally give the green light to a symmetrical tournament with four cities in Poland, and Kiev, Lviv, Kharkiv and Donetsk in Ukraine," UEFA president Michel Platini told a news conference.

"There remains considerable work to be done and considerable hoops to jump through. I entirely trust Ukraine and Poland as hosts," he added.

The tournament is being co-hosted with Poland, where four cities — Poznan, Wroclaw, Warsaw and Gdansk — had already been confirmed by UEFA as able to host matches.

"Today Ukraine won, the people of Ukraine won," Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko told local television.

UEFA has been frustrated by the slow progress of work in Ukraine and in May gave the four cities six months to show significant improvement, with Platini decrying 'huge' problems with airport infrastructure, transport networks and suitable accommodation for a huge influx of fans.

"Mr. Platini, the great player and president, has given us a new opportunity, an opportunity to show what we are made of," Ukrainian FA president Grigoriy Surkis told the news conference.

"We are going to make sure that Euro 2012 will be at least as successful as the previous two tournaments. Now isn't a time to rest on our laurels."

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