Former UEFA Executive Committee member Leszek Rylski spoke of his pride at being named an honorary Friend of UEFA EURO 2012 in Poland, after being presented to the nation by Polish tournament director Adam Olkowicz on morning television programme Kawa czy Herbata (Tea or Coffee).
"I am surprised by this recognition," said Rylski, a UEFA Executive Committee member from 1956 to 1968. "It's a big privilege and a challenge for me to be active in football again. I am delighted with what is happening with Poland's EURO preparations. It is all new to us and we might make mistakes, but that's normal and I believe we will have a successful tournament. UEFA EURO 2012 is driving Poland forward and next summer the eyes of the world will be on our country."
Now 91, Rylski served as general secretary of the Polish Football Federation (PZPN) between 1959 and 1972, and his work with UEFA was recognised when he was admitted to the UEFA Order of Merit in Ruby in 2009. "Over the years, UEFA has changed European football," said Rylski, one of the architects of the UEFA European Championship. "I was on the Nations' Cup Committee, and the competition evolved to the UEFA EURO. I helped to work out the first regulations of the tournament."
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