Platini calms talk of Euro 2012 switch

17:09, 26 June 2008
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talk that Ukraine and Poland being stripped of the tournament is premature

UEFA president Michel Platini insists that talk of Euro 2012 co-hosts Ukraine and Poland being stripped of the tournament is premature, according to TEAMtalk.com.

Poland and Ukraine are due to play host to the rest of Europe in four years` time but reports suggest that infrastructure problems could see the countries lose that right.

Platini revealed he would visit the co-hosts in the upcoming weeks but refused to confirm or deny rumours that UEFA are on the brink of moving the tournament to another country.

"I don`t want to talk about that during the European Championships," he said. "But I`m going there on July 2 to take stock of the situation.

"I know that certain people are already talking about the possibility of giving the competition to another country which could be Spain.

"At the present moment however, that`s an unfounded rumour."

The threat that the tournament could be played elsewhere is a very real one, with roads, airports and rail networks in both countries facing heavy modernisation as well as the stadiums.

The renovation of Kiev`s Olympic Stadium, which will host the final, is already massively behind schedule with the contractors for the task now set to be decided on only days before UEFA`s visit.

Meanwhile, Platini also revealed that in future the European Championships could take place at the beginning of the season.

With the modern game placing more physical demands on them, players have arrived at the tournament looking somewhat jaded after a long season with their respective clubs.

And Platini believes a change from the traditional footballing calendar, with the European Championships becoming a curtain raiser to the club campaign, would reinvigorate the tournament as a spectacle.

"I have already talked about the possibility of playing the Euros a bit later in the year, in August, after the players` holidays, when they will be more fresh," he said. "But we have to come to an agreement with the clubs and come up with a new calendar.

"I am sure the clubs would then say that their players were rejoining them tired...we have to study it.

"Russia`s good form hasn`t surprised me because we knew they would arrive very fresh at a physical level as almost all their players ply their trade in their league which has only just started."

Platini revealed that another future change could see the tournament expanded from its current format of 16 teams, with the addition of another eight countries.

"We`re talking about it here in Vienna," he added. "But we`ll study it in September in Bordeaux.

"There we will make a decision after hearing all the opinions and if we expand it it won`t take place until Euro 2016."

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