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Ukraine and Poland’s UEFA Euro 2012 Obstacles are Only “Minor Problems”

11. February 2010 by Gregg 0 Comments

In a recent press conference, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) President Michel Platini stated that only “minor problems” stood in the way of Ukraine and Poland’s readiness to host the 2012 matches. This is a complete about-face from his statements last July when he praised Poland for the improvements they were making but warned Ukraine that they were running the risk of losing their spot as host.

Along with Ukraine, other former Soviet states set to participate in the qualifying round include Russia, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. UEFA officials have organized the former Soviet countries into different qualifying groups to avoid the potential issue of two countries’ teams refusing to play against each other. This happened back during the 2008 tournament between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Due to a territorial dispute between the two nations, each refused to play against the other due to not being able to compromise on venues for their matches. Both teams forfeited and did not receive the points needed to qualify for the games.

In this manner, the UEFA are attempting to avoid mixing politics with their proceedings. The move was decried by Russia’s coach Guus Hiddink. The official drawing took place on February 7th in the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw, Poland.