Polish Football Association president Grzegorz Lato believes "Poland and Ukraine are ready to surprise the world" after the launch in Kyiv of the "beautiful logo" and slogan for UEFA EURO 2012™.
Mr Lato, his Football Federation of Ukraine counterpart Grigoriy Surkis and UEFA President Michel Platini unveiled the eye-catching bloom logo and the slogan 'Creating History Together' at a ceremony in Kyiv's Mykhailivska Square on Monday. The former Poland winger was dazzled by the poignancy of the emblem for the tournament which the neighbouring nations will co-host.
"It is of tremendous importance for such a worldwide event to have such a beautiful logo," he said. "It gives a flavour of the competition and of our two countries. The slogan also contains a clear message that Poland and Ukraine are ready to surprise the world and will deliver a unique experience to visitors in summer 2012. The slogan is great. Ukraine and Poland have a long and complicated shared history but this tournament will make us friends forever."
'Pride and happiness'
Addressing guests at the ceremony, including the president of Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko, and prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko as well as representatives from the eight host cities – Gdansk, Warsaw, Poznan, Wroclaw, Lviv, Kharkiv, Donetsk and Kyiv – Mr Surkis added: "I think the logo is very special and it shows the soul of our two peoples. When I see the colours of the Ukrainian flag in it, my heart fills with pride and happiness.
"With the launch of the official logo the tournament has begun, and I have no doubt Ukraine and Poland will stage this tremendous event perfectly. Like the slogan says, this is a way to create history together. For me, the slogan expresses such optimism and confidence in the future for both our countries, and I am very proud to be a part of this unique project."
Thanks to UEFA
Mr Surkis also paid thanks to European football's governing body for giving the two nations the chance to prove their worth. "On behalf of Ukrainian and Polish citizens, I would like to once again thank UEFA and its president Michel Platini for having offered the chance to the people of our beautiful countries to present themselves to the world," he added. Mr Platini, for his part, was pleased with the work the two nations have done so far. "I am happy with the road we have covered so far," he said. "Despite the global crisis and economic downturn, Ukraine and Poland have managed to meet deadlines.
"I would like to thank governments in both countries for their huge effort on this project," added the UEFA President. "We had some problems with the preparations but Ukraine did a really great job to meet our requirements. The main thing now is not to rest but work even harder." Addressing the people of both nations, he added: "I know preparations for such a tournament cost a lot but it does open up great opportunities for future generations in Poland and Ukraine. I'm sure EURO 2012 will help secure a better future. I kept this in my mind when I organised the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France, and now I see both countries understand this too. Ukrainians and Poles are two great peoples and I have no doubts they will stage a fantastic tournament."
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