WARSAW - Poland may host the 2012 European Championship on its own if Ukraine does not complete its Kiev stadium on schedule, UEFA president Michel Platini was quoted as saying by Polish media on Friday. The Dziennik daily reported that Platini also played down speculation Germany could step in to host the tournament. "Germany? Only if the bulldozers are still working at the National Stadium in Warsaw in June 2012, but I doubt that," Platini told Dziennik. "Kiev is another matter. If this city is late with the stadium, then there is a possibility that Euro 2012 will be hosted only by Poland." UEFA has already threatened to take the tournament away from Poland and Ukraine if they fail to speed up stadium construction and tackle major infrastructure problems. Speaking to Reuters on Friday in Athens at the Council of European Ministers responsible for sport, Platini clarified his comments, saying stadiums in both countries had to be ready. "I said if the stadium in Kiev is not ready then we won't play in Ukraine and if Warsaw is not ready then we won't play in Poland. Nothing more. It is very complicated," he said. Regarding a deadline for the Kiev stadium, Platini added: "The cut-off date is whether there is the possibility to build the stadium or not. "If it's one year before and the stadium is not started, it will not be possible to finish it, so we will say no. The politicians in the Ukraine know that if the main stadium in Kiev is not ready then we will not go." FULL SUPPORT Polish sports minister Miroslaw Drzewiecki said Poland would do everything it could to host the tournament with Ukraine. "Ukraine is the only partner for us, it can count on our full support and cooperation," Drzewiecki said in a statement. "We will do everything to ensure that the tournament is a joint success of both Poland and Ukraine." Hryhoriy Surkis, chief of Ukraine's soccer federation, said the two countries have increased their cooperation. "Neither the Ukrainian nor Polish side recommended hosting Euro 2012 solely in Ukraine or Poland," he told a news conference on Friday. Ukraine delayed the modernisation of the Kiev stadium -- due to hold the final -- for a year due to a legal wrangle over the fate of an adjacent shopping centre. However, that problem was solved over the summer and renovation has started. A designer for a stadium in the Western city of Lviv has also been chosen after an Austrian contractor pulled out. On Thursday, UEFA general secretary David Taylor said the latest reports from both countries were positive but UEFA was monitoring the situation in Kiev particularly closely. "We understand construction work has finally begun there although the final capacity of the ground, which we believe should be at least 50,000, is still a major issue," he said. To speed up preparations and meet UEFA demands, Ukraine recently disbanded an agency overseeing the preparations and replaced it with a 50-strong 'coordinating bureau'.
12 December 2008
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