Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Italy ready to 'rescue' Euro 2012

Italy are ready to take over hosting duties on Euro 2012 after UEFA admitted they were concerned at the lack of progress in Ukraine and Poland.

The peninsula was shortlisted for the competition, but lost the vote to the dual candidacy of the Eastern European countries.

However, there has for some time been confusion over how Ukraine and Poland will complete the extensive work needed to host the tournament in 2012 and Italy have said they are ready to step in if needed.

That is becoming increasingly likely after today UEFA confessed they were worried about the way they were progressing.

"I have the distinct feeling that the next four to six months will be crucial in order to avoid any critical slippage in sports and public infrastructure projects and to protect the global credibility of the Euro project itself," said UEFA President Michel Platini.

"There is a need for creating a true government mobilisation by making the national authorities aware of the crucial need to set up a governance and management structure to lead all the projects related to UEFA Euro 2012.

"UEFA is totally committed to do everything possible, in the next few months, to assist and support the two associations, at both the advisory and administrative level and political level in order to guarantee the success of the project."

UEFA General Secretary David Taylor also had a warning. "There has been progress, but it needs to be accelerated.

"Over the next six months, we need to see major steps forward in terms of the organisation of Euro 2012, and there will be close monitoring by UEFA of the situation in that period of time.

"It's too late to wait until after Euro 2008, given the requirements we have for stadiums and other infrastructure that must be put in place before 2012.

"The structures we need to put in place have been identified; we need actions now to make sure the preparations are on track."

Although Italy have pledged to be ready to take over at short notice, Taylor hoped it would not come to that.

"We are certainly not in the position of discussing or approaching alternatives. Our full focus is on assisting the countries concerned.

"We are determined to do everything we can to help these countries stage an event which is up to the standards we expect."

Source: C4 Football Italia

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