Platini casts doubt on Ukraine

Uefa president says ‘no Plan B’ as work goes slowly on Euro 2012 stadiums.

Platini  said there was no contingency plan for Germany to take Ukraine’s place [AFP]

Uefa president Michel Platini said he doubts whether Ukraine will be able to co-host the 2012 European Championships, complaining that work on one of its four stadiums had stopped.

Speaking at the European Union, Platini said construction in western Lviv “has made no progress whatsoever,” while work on the showpiece stadium in Kiev had fallen behind schedule.

Platini said that if the ground in Kiev was not ready, Ukraine would be unable to co-host Europe’s premier international football event.

“I am worried because we put our trust in a country, in a policy,” he said.

Platini will travel to Kiev next week to assess the troubled construction works and ask the new government to bring development up to par with that in co-host Poland.

Uefa warned both countries in September 2008 to speed up construction or risk losing the three-week long tournament.

Poland on track

“For Poland all is going well,” the Frenchman said on Monday.

Both co-hosts have to provide four stadiums.

In Ukraine’s case, Kiev, Lviv, Donetsk and Kharkiv are to host matches.

Lviv, a western city of 735,000 people, laid the foundations of a 30,000-capacity stadium in February 2009 but progress since had been too slow, Platini said.

Construction at Lviv had moved forward “not by an inch. So yes, I am worried.”

He also said renovation work on Kiev’s 63,000-capacity Olympic stadium was going too slowly.

The stadium is due to host six matches, including the Euro 2012 final.

“If there is no Kiev, then no Ukraine,” Platini said, before backtracking slightly – explaining that Kiev’s difficulties were in part due to an unusually harsh winter.

“I think Kiev will be all right in the end,” the 1984 European Championships winner said.

Platini refused to be drawn on whether Germany could take Ukraine’s place.

“There is no Plan B,” he said.

Source: AP


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