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UEFA EURO 2012: 'A fantastic event'

UEFA operations director Martin Kallen and Ukraine tournament director Markiyan Lubkivskiy looked back with pride in Kyiv on Monday on the high standards set by UEFA EURO 2012.

Martin Kallen and Markiyan Lubkivskyi at Monday's press conference in Kyiv
Martin Kallen and Markiyan Lubkivskyi at Monday's press conference in Kyiv ©Olexandr Zadiraka

"A fantastic event" – the unanimous view of UEFA's operations director Martin Kallen and Ukraine tournament director Markiyan Lubkivskiy as they reviewed UEFA EURO 2012 at Kyiv's Olympic Stadium on Monday.

The duo spoke of their immense pride in staging an outstanding tournament from 8 June to 1 July. UEFA EURO 2012 in Poland and Ukraine has set new benchmarks for future major tournaments to reach. Monday's event in Kyiv will be followed by a similar review in Warsaw.

"UEFA EURO 2012 has been the biggest event ever staged in the independent Ukraine and the best-organised sports tournament," said Lubkivskiy. "We all can be proud, as it required tremendous efforts from UEFA, the host association and the LOC, as well as the Ukrainian government and our Polish counterparts. This tournament has raised the organisation of football matches to the highest standards."

"We succeeded in having a fantastic EURO 2012," said Kallen. "We were very happy with operations here in Ukraine and in Poland. UEFA President Michel Platini, the Football Federation of Ukraine (FFU) president Grigoriy Surkis and all European football stakeholders were really satisfied with the tournament." Kallen spoke of the massive worldwide interest in UEFA EURO 2012, which led to a number of tournament records being broken.

Over 1.44 million people attended the matches in the stadiums, ensuring a tournament average of 46,471 spectators. The largest single attendance was 64,640 fans at the Olympic Stadium in Kyiv for the match between Sweden and England. The overall stadium attendance reached 98.6%. "It is normal that not all people who bought tickets came to matches," said Kallen. "But still we have very high attendance numbers."

Official fan zones also proved a resounding success, with more than 7 million supporters visiting them during the tournament, while more than 2 million fans flocked to Kyiv alone. Naturally, the final was the major attraction, as 539,000 supporters watched the game between Italy and Spain in all eight fan zones. The largest single attendance was 300,000 in Kharkiv on 13 June.

Meanwhile, the EURO action had football lovers glued to their TV sets across Europe and beyond. Poland's home draw with Russia brought an all-time record TV audience (14.7 million average) in the co-host country. The England-Italy match was the most watched quarter-final in EURO history. Spain's final triumph earned the highest Spanish TV audience in history (15.5 million average; 17.9 million peak). Moreover, at least one of five fans watched the matches outside their homes.

The tournament infrastructure in Ukraine was worthy of considerable praise. "We are happy with the infrastructure provided by Ukraine for the finals," Kallen added. "All changes in the country can be easily seen. Just take a ride from Boryspil Airport to the Olympic Stadium, and you will see an example." Lubkivskiy added: "The Ukrainian government deserves nothing but an excellent mark for the job done."

The Ukrainian tournament director said that airports in all four host cities had succeeded in dealing with a large number of passengers. "For example, on the day of the final, Boryspil Airport coped with 45,000 passengers, 630 flights and 450 charters – arrival and departure," Lubkivskiy said.

Positive feedback had been received from teams and representatives of the UEFA family about training camps, hotels, transport and security. Furthermore, 2,879 volunteers and 3,760 stewards in Ukraine had also made an excellent contribution to making the tournament such a wonderful success story.