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Ukraine back on track for Euro 2012

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Ukraine back on track for Euro 2012


Poland and Ukraine co-host the upcoming European Football Championships in 2012.

This is Kiev, the capital of Ukraine and the city that will host the event’s final.

Euronews travelled to the country to see how the preperations were going.

One year ago Deputy Prime Minister Boris Kolesnikov was put in charge of the project.

It was a rescue mission. UEFA were within a whisker of stripping Ukraine of the tournament because of organisational chaos.

But Ukraine managed to convince European football’s governing body that they would be ready. Now the work is in full swing.

The Olympic Stadium will host the final. The arena has undergone many facelifts since its construction in 1941.

“To make the best possible job we had to demolish the existing stadium and build a new one.’‘ Said Kolesnikov.

‘‘We tried to rebuild the old Soviet structure but we decided to knock 90% of it down. Following reconstruction it will be one of the most modern and comfortable stadiums in Eastern Europe.”

Previously, the stadium in Kiev had a capacity of 100,000, after modernisation it will house 69,000 in comfort.

It will be the largest stadium in use during the tournament and its difficult to believe that international matches are planned for November.

“We still have a lot of work to do, but we plan to stage matches this year.’‘ insisted Kolesnikov.

‘‘Between 2008 and 2010, almost nothing was done. Now we are working at high speed it’s OK it makes us strong and we can learn for the future.”

The construction is now in the final phase, the final detail to give the arena a modern look is the synthetic roof which covers all of the stadium’s seats. It will be used for football matches and athletics meetings.

“The stadium is 75 per cent complete. We must add the teflon coating and perhaps the most important aspect, the pitch itself.

‘‘All of this will be achieved on time, with the help of our sub-contractors, including foreign companies, those that prepare the pitch, those that lay the turf, it is the Olympic Stadium, right down to the last detail.

‘‘We will be very happy to welcome European fans here. It is a pity that the number of teams taking part is limited. Even if your team has not qualified for the tournament Ukraine is open to all. We want the whole of Europe to come.”

Work on the Olympic Stadium is taking place around the clock seven days a week. There is just over a year before the start of the Euro 2012. But the organisers are adamant they will meet all the deadlines.

Now lets take a look at some of Ukraines other stadiums.”

The Donbass Arena in Donetsk opened its doors in 2009. It was the first of the eight stadiums in Poland and Ukraine to be completed.

It seats 50,000 people, has a spacial design and fulfills all legal requirements. It is home to Shakhtar Donetsk, who have already hosted domestic league and Champions League matches.

The Metalist Kharkiv stadium was upgraded two years ago and it’s capacity increased by 10,000 to 38,000.

The fourth Ukrainian venue for the competition is in Lviv. The construction is 50 per cent complete and was recently visted by President Viktor Yanukovych. The leader came away happy with the progress and construction should be finished on time.

For the moment Ukraine resembles a building site. Stadia roads, airports and hotels are still under construction.

High-speed rail routes are also being built. At Borispol Airport in Kiev one new terminal is close to completion while terminal F is now ready to welcome passengers.

The countdown to Euro 2012 is well and truely underway.

Every story can be told in many ways: see the perspectives from Euronews journalists in our other language teams.

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