UEFA President pleased with Ukraine's progress

The message from UEFA President Michel Platini's visit to Lviv, Donetsk, Kharkiv and Kyiv is that Ukraine is doing fine with its preparations to host UEFA EURO 2012.

UEFA President Michel Platini received a progress report on Ukraine's preparations for UEFA EURO 2012 after visiting all four of the country's host cities during a two-day whistle-stop tour.

Mr Platini was joined by UEFA Executive Committee member František Laurinec, who is also head of the UEFA Stadium and Security Committee, as well as UEFA Events SA CEO David Taylor, UEFA EURO 2012 commissioner Jacques Lambert and UEFA Events operations director Martin Kallen.

The party first visited Lviv, the westernmost Ukrainian host city, where they were accompanied by Ukraine's deputy prime minister Borys Kolesnikov, who is also minister in charge of infrastructure, along with Football Federation of Ukraine (FFU) president Grigoriy Surkis, Ukrainian tournament director Markiyan Lubkivskiy and Volodymyr Kovalevskiy, the chairman of the national UEFA EURO 2012 agency.

Mr Platini also took in the new terminal at Lviv Airport before the delegation moved on to see the city's new stadium. "I am excited to be in Lviv again," said the UEFA President. "I can see significant improvements. The local authorities have done a great job here."

The next port of call was Donetsk, where Mr Platini observed construction work at the airport, which includes a new air traffic control tower. The party then toured the Donbass Arena and met local dignitaries. "I might visit Donetsk as a tourist after the European Championship, as Ukraine and Poland are making every effort to update their infrastructure, and for sure I will be here for the semi-final," Mr Platini said.

A busy schedule saw the delegation head to Kharkiv on Monday afternoon, where UEFA's President cut the tape at the opening of Kharkiv Airport's new VIP facilities before inspecting the soon-to-be-opened temporary terminals that will operate for UEFA EURO 2012. "Kharkiv is the third city I have visited today," said Mr Platini. "I do not see any big problems in Kharkiv relating to EURO preparations. There are minor ones that will be solved. The city's airport is fine, the stadium is great. Transport is a point on the list that needs a little bit more focus."

The delegation travelled to the Ukrainian capital on Tuesday morning to inspect work on the Kyiv Olympic Stadium, which will stage the UEFA EURO 2012 final, and Mr Platini was pleased with what he saw. "I have just walked onto the pitch and scored a goal," he said. "I am very happy as this means the arena is almost complete. We see great progress with the infrastructure, stadiums. There are still some minor problems [in each host city] but together we will cope with them. At the next meeting of the UEFA Executive Committee I will tell the members that Ukraine is doing fine with the preparations."

The UEFA President's tour concluded after a meeting with the President of Ukraine, Victor Yanukovych.

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