"There is no risk that we will delay any of the important EURO investments. Everything is going fine, including the construction of the stadiums – the four Polish stadiums will be ready on time, in the summer of 2011." That was the message from Adam Giersz, Polish minister for sport and tourism during a special meeting of all the parties involved in the staging of UEFA EURO 2012 in Poland.
Representatives from the government, the local organising committee (LOC), the host cities and UEFA gathered at the Polish Olympic Committee building in Warsaw to discuss the progress of UEFA EURO 2012 preparations in the country.
"We are doing our best and the results are good. I cannot see any risk to the EURO in Poland," said Adam Giersz. "We are aware of the fact this event will have a huge influence on Poland's future.
"Sport tends to unite people, which in itself means a fantastic opportunity for our society. I believe strongly in our organisational and economic as well as our sporting success at the tournament."
Andreas Schär, head of government relations and public services at UEFA Events SA, was also present and sounded a similary positive note. "Five hundred days before the tournament we can see big progress in terms of Poland's infrastructure preparations. I strongly believe everything will be fine and it will be a great football fiesta for Poland and Europe."
Andrzej Kraśnicki, the Polish Olympic Committee president, reiterated the view that the EURO finals represent a major opportunity far beyond the co-host nation's stadiums in Gdansk, Poznan, Warsaw and Wroclaw.
"The 2012 finals are a big opportunity not only for football – I would like other sporting associations in our country to watch carefully the preparations for, and running of, the tournament. This process is a priceless lesson on how to prepare for big tournaments. I am sure Poland will want to hold other big sporting events so let's treat the EURO as a great chance."
Among the topics discussed, the issue of security was broached by Adam Rapacki, Poland's vice-minister for internal and administration affairs. "We all want the EURO to be a great fun event in which the whole of Poland, Ukraine and Europe participate. We follow this formula: Have fun, feel safe.
"We are aware that we must unite people to achieve it," continued the minister, who heads the Polish security commitee for UEFA EURO 2012. "We are on the case, we have a special security strategy and hope the EURO finals will be good and safe for everyone."
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