Ukraine Leaps Forward 30 Years - UEFA President
KYIV, Ukraine, June 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
In preparations for EURO 2012 Ukraine leaped forward 30 years in its development, said UEFA President Michel Platini. During the press conference at the National Stadium in Warsaw, Poland, Platini also noted that despite numerous problems, especially the impact of the global financial crisis, both countries have achieved a high level of readiness for the continental football championship.
According to the head of European football, previously, both Poland and Ukraine lacked experience of conducting large scale-events. Nevertheless, both countries have completed the preparations for EURO 2012 with the support of European experts and their own efforts. "Poland and Ukraine are holding the European Football Championship for the first time. They had a lot to build from scratch and many problems to solve during the crisis." In conclusion, Platini mentioned that the tournament became a real impulse for the development of both countries, because all that was built for Euro will remain for the people.
In preparation for the largest continental football championship Ukraine renovated airports in all EURO 2012 host cities - Donetsk, Kharkiv, and Lviv as well as second airport in Kyiv - Zhuliany, increasing their channel capacity and improving the runway and infrastructure. The country has built and modernized four major stadiums - the National Sports Complex Olimpiyskyi in Kyiv (to host EURO 2012 final), Donbass Arena in Donetsk, Arena Lviv in Lviv, and Metalist Stadium (nicknamed Spider) in Kharkiv.
Notably, the latest Global Enabling Trade Report of the World Economic Forum lists Ukraine as number one among CIS countries regarding railroad infrastructure development. The country was voted to possess an extensive and efficient infrastructure by international standards.
To make football fans' journey to Ukraine even more fuss-free Ukraine dropped the visa requirement for the citizens of the EU, Switzerland, Canada, Japan, and the USA, who enter the country for the period of up to 90 days.
Earlier, the International Herald Tribune quoted Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Borys Kolesnikov who said: "Nobody in the world in 18 months has created such infrastructure as we did in Ukraine". According to the paper Ukraine's EURO 2012 investment in infrastructure approaches USD 4 billion.
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