Ukraine says politics will not affect Euro 2012 plans

15:33, 19 September 2008
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Ukrainian soccer officials have assured UEFA

Ukrainian soccer officials have assured UEFA that the country`s political problems will not affect preparations for co-hosting the 2012 European championships, the country`s soccer federation said on Friday, according to Reuters.

A dispute between President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko split the coalition this month. Unless a new one is formed, Ukraine may hold its third parliamentary election in as many years.

UEFA, the European governing body, is due to decide next week whether to take the championships away from Ukraine and co-hosts Poland after criticising for months progress on building stadiums and modernising infrastructure.

A Ukrainian delegation, including Deputy Prime Minister Ivan Vasyunyk and Ukrainian Soccer Federation head Hryhory Surkis, met UEFA officials in Nyon, Switzerland, ahead of UEFA`s executive meeting on Sept. 25.

"The deputy prime minister said Euro 2012 became the first project in the history of Ukraine that united all political forces," a soccer federation statement said.

"(He said) this will ensure that the political situation will not impact the country`s preparations for hosting the championship in 2012 and on the government`s responsibilities as promised to UEFA."

Sources familiar with a progress report that UEFA is drafting for the Sept. 25 meeting have told Reuters that the association thinks it is too early to decide whether to withdraw the tournament from the two countries.

Ukraine`s soccer federation said UEFA officials noted progress on what has been one of the most problematic issues, the renovation of Kiev`s Olympic Stadium where the final will be held.

Renovation was delayed for a year because of legal wrangling over an adjoining shopping centre which violated safety rules by blocking exits. The centre is now being taken down.

Reuters

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