A group of Ukrainians are offering free accommodation for hard-up fans during Euro 2012.
Some say they are trying to fix the country’s tarnished reputation after accusations of profiteering by many of the country’s hotels in the lead up to the football tournament. Prices for accommodation during the three-week tournament have skyrocketed by as much as 1,000 percent.
“We want to support Euro2012 in Ukraine and to show people from Europe that we are just like they are; that there are no bears walking on the streets of Kyiv but normal and decent people, who are always glad to meet friends and guests who come to visit,” said apartment owner Andriy Nechayev.
The family offered a sofa in their apartment on the ‘homes for free’ website. On Friday there were more than 350 places available and hundreds of enquiries from fans in Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands.
“The response was very quick,” said Iryna Kryvous, who owns an apartment in Ukraine’s capital Kyiv. “Within two hours of placing the announcement, I received more than 10 requests from people around Europe. We gave a positive response to anyone who sent pictures so I could see what they look like.”
The Ukrainians involved said Euro2012 should be about more than just making a quick buck. They claim their only goal is to show the country’s more hospitable side.