Travelling fans should not let
the scarcity and cost of hotel rooms in Ukraine put them off
attending matches at the Euro 2012 finals, leading UEFA official
David Taylor said on Thursday.
Taylor, UEFA's former general secretary and now the head of
its marketing company, praised the enormous strides taken by
co-hosts Poland and Ukraine in preparing for the first major
football championship to take place in eastern Europe, and
stressed to fans there were alternatives to avoid being ripped
off in Ukraine.
Speaking to reporters at Warsaw's impressive new national
stadium where the Championship opens in exactly three months on
June 8 when Poland face Greece, Taylor said: "There are issues
with Ukrainian hotels - the main ones being the high prices
being charged for one, two and three star hotels.
"It is possible to find lower price accomodation if you
search but you need to search because some of the prices
available on websites are at the high end of the what they
"The problem of the prices in Ukraine is partly due to the
scarcity of the hotels there compared to Poland, the normal
hotel price in Ukraine is two or three times the cost of a hotel
in Poland in any event.
"So it is a question of scarcity, but certain hotels are
trying to maximise their revenue. This is to be expected but as
we get nearer the start of the tournament they will be wanting
to sell their rooms."
He added: "It doesn't help Ukraine in the long run to have
people think twice about coming simply because they are put off
by the cost of hotel nights.
"At the end of the day UEFA does not set hotel prices but we
know that is an issue for some fans."
Taylor and tournament director Martin Kallen were full of
praise for both countries who have completed the building of the
stadiums well in advance of the start of the tournament, despite
widespread sceptisism that they would do so.
Kallen dismissed a suggestion that more-westernised Poland
would deliver a slicker, more efficient half of the tournament
"The Poles have done a great job and the Ukranians have done
a great job and Ukraine is expecting a lot of supporters," he
"They have invested an enormous amount of money and they are
very proud. The final is in Ukraine, and I think everyone wants
to be in the final [July 1] at the end in Kiev.
"The infrasttructure in Ukraine is good and the security
there is safe so it's not a big iussue to travel around. I have
done this for four years and I am confident that during the
tournament there will be no issues whatsoever in terms of
security for supporters.
"It has been a amazing journey for both countries and a
difficult journey too. A lot of infrastructure had to be built
and in a very short time, so for the countries it was always a
struggle to achieve what was needed but they have fulfilled it."
Taylor and Kallen were speaking on the first day of a
two-day workshop for the 16 finalists involving logistics,
operational, medical and playing matters.
In a message to the finalists UEFA president Michel Platini
predicted a "magnificent celebration of European football."
Platini, who won the tournament as a player with France in
1984 and then later coached his national side, told the coaches
present: "I am speaking to you as a former colleague. I
understand and share your hopes, your doubts and your desire to
succeed. I too have experienced these often contradictory
feelings that are part of this wonderful job.
"Euro 2012 will, like its predecessors, be a magnificent
celebration of European football and an ideal showcase for our
continent at a time when it faces some very difficult challenges
outside the world of sport."
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