PRAGUE - Preparations for Euro 2012 in
Poland and Ukraine, a major headache until earlier this year,
are well on course and three of the eight stadiums have been
completed, UEFA said on Friday.
The announcement came almost exactly one year after Ukraine
were given a reprieve by European football's governing body, which
had refused to confirm three of their four cities as hosts
because of the slow progress of work on hotels, stadiums and
UEFA secretary general Gianni Infantino said that two of the
four stadiums in Ukraine - at Kharkiv and Donetsk - were
"Work in the four cities in Ukraine is progressing well...
Kiev and Lviv are on track with some issues at airports, which
are all being renovated, the projects are promising and
everything will be done in time."
He was similarly optimistic about Poland, where the Poznan
stadium has been finished.
"We are a little behind the ideal schedule on the practical
implementation of security, transport logistics and other
things, but in general it is well on track and we are confident
that, with the collaboration of governments, it will all be
ready on time."
Infantino, following a meeting of the executive commitee,
said that payments to its member associations as part of its
so-called HatTrick programme would increase by 15 percent over
the four-year period from 2012 to 2016.
He said each of UEFA's 53 member associations would receive
a total of 9 million euros, provided they
fulfilled commitments which included taking part in lesser
competitions and took part in UEFA initiatives on coaching and
UEFA have also agreed to a yearly payment of 100,000 euros
to support the development of women's football, starting from
He said there were now 950,000 registered women's
footballers in Europe with 45 of the 53 associations taking part
in women's competitions.
UEFA also decided that from 2012, the final two rounds in
the group stage of the Europa League would be played slightly
earlier, taking place in the same weeks as the Champions League
games. This would free up extra dates during the winter period,
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