UEFA to start proceedings over Euro allegations

ZURICH - UEFA is taking legal action against a Cypriot official who said he had evidence of corruption relating to the decision to award Poland and Ukraine the Euro 2012 championship.

"We are in the process of opening legal proceedings against him to protect the corporate image of UEFA and also to force his hand to show us what evidence he has," UEFA spokesman Rob Faulkner said.

UEFA had set Spyros Marangos, a former board member of the Cypriot FA, a deadline of Wednesday to provide evidence to back up his claims and Faulkner confirmed he had failed to do so.

"He said it was too short notice for him to travel to Switzerland and he wanted us to go there (Cyprus)."

Germany's respected Suddeutsche Zeitung reported that Marangos had said he had evidence that certain UEFA representatives were corrupted in the bidding process in 2007, when Italy and a joint Croatia and Hungary bid missed out.

Bid processes for soccer tournaments have recently come under scrutiny with world governing body FIFA provisionally suspending two members of its executive committee on suspicion of selling their votes to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Polish and Ukrainian officials have dismissed the allegations, the former describing Marangos' accusations as slander.