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Surkis proud as Ukraine shows true face

Published: Sunday 1 July 2012, 11.00CET
As Kyiv prepares to stage the UEFA EURO 2012 final, Football Federation of Ukraine president Grigoriy Surkis looks back with pride at a tournament which will leave a lasting legacy.

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Published: Sunday 1 July 2012, 11.00CET

Surkis proud as Ukraine shows true face

As Kyiv prepares to stage the UEFA EURO 2012 final, Football Federation of Ukraine president Grigoriy Surkis looks back with pride at a tournament which will leave a lasting legacy.

Grigoriy Surkis is proud that Ukraine has "presented the world of football with a real feast" as the country prepares to host its 16th and last match of UEFA EURO 2012 – Sunday's final between Spain and Italy.

The Football Federation of Ukraine (FFU) president has witnessed four host cities in the country – Donetsk, Kharkiv, Kyiv and Lviv – welcome visitors from across Europe and beyond. Surkis said there was "a natural desire to show the world that we are hospitable hosts ... and to open Ukraine's real face to the world".

Mr Surkis was proud that the country got behind Oleh Blokhin's team: "I can say with total confidence and responsibility that the tournament has succeeded in fulfilling its mission of uniting the nation. In the streets, in houses, in cars, a spontaneous flood of Ukrainian symbols appeared."

The bunting is soon to be put away but the legacy of the tournament will be felt for many years to come, as Mr Surkis acknowledged: "There are new airports, hotel chains, train stations ... roads have been modernised as a result of hosting EURO 2012 during a period we call 'the five-year renaissance' in Ukraine."

Click on the play button above to hear more from the FFU president.

Last updated: 26/10/12 15.54CET

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