Warsaw stadium given go ahead for debut

Poland's new national stadium has got the green light to stage its first match - a friendly against Portugal on February 29 - after numerous delays had raised questions over the readiness of the venue less than four months ahead of the European Championships.

Warsaw's National Stadium, the last venue to be sanctioned for the tournament Poland will co-host with Ukraine, is scheduled to stage the opening Euro 2012 match on June 8 between Poland and Greece and four more games, including a semi-final.

Earlier this month Polish authorities were forced to cancel a Polish Super Cup game because of safety issues and there had been doubts about next week's friendly with Portugal.

"It's good that the match will be able to take place there," Warsaw Mayor Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz told a news conference after police officials gave the friendly a green light.

Police had earlier complained the $640 million stadium, which resembles a wicker basket sporting Poland's white and red national colours, was technically unsuitable for their own mobile internal communications systems.

In Poland, the emergency services must sign off all new public buildings once they are satisfied they meet minimum safety requirements.

Construction delays and problems gaining police approval forced the stadium's manager to step down earlier this month. .

The problems surrounding the Warsaw stadium has been an embarrassment for Prime Minister Donald Tusk and his government, which has also admitted that not all of the infrastructure projects, especially roads connecting some of Poland's main cities, would be ready on time.

The Olympic Stadium in Kiev, the main venue in Ukraine, is already operational. The final will be held there on July 1.


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