On Friday, June 8th started one of the most awaited tournaments of the year – the EURO 2012 football championship. Having all necessary information we can make our the first review of what was promised and what was done for EURO 2012.
Let’s see how it goes:
According to the Ukrainian Prime-Minister of Infrastructure - Mr. Kolesnikov, Ukraine has put through all UEFA requirements to hold the EURO 2012 championship. Some of the most important requirements for both countries were constructing the stadiums, building the hotels for the football fans and taking care of the transport situation.
The first thing to be mentioned in the article is that the Ukrainian government is quite specific so the phrase “said doesn’t usually mean done” applies to it perfectly.
As for the stadium constructions, yes all of them are done, all are nice and comfortable but there is one little thing – all Ukrainian stadiums, (except Donbass Arena) were done in the last minute as most of the stuff in the country. Even the main hosting stadium NSC Olimpiyskiy was put on fire during the grand opening in October. It wasn’t the London’s Great Fire, but still it shows the lack of responsibility of the Ukrainian government.
Moving further, we will come across the most burning topic – Ukrainian hotels. German journalists, who blamed Ukraine for unreasonable prices in hotels and hostels, had some point. 250 euros for a night is a little bit too much for an ordinary fan. Nevertheless, after a great scandal, the prices were reduced twice and now 250 Euros is a suite in the most luxurious 5 star hotel in Kyiv. Other hotels’ prices vary from 50-80 dollars.
Next step – transport. Though it seems that nothing can be wrong with this issue, there were some touchy transportation problems. Fast train Hyundai that was promised to be put into exploitation in April, got to the country only in May. And even now, it still has a very “flexible” schedule, very weak or even no WI-FI access and a bad bar service. The prices for the train are unreasonably high; especially for the Ukrainians with the salary of 2000hr.
Ukrainian roads probably stunned those who have chosen to come to Ukraine by car. They are not so bad in the cities but in the suburbs and the little towns are simply beyond description.
The attempt to teach English every social, medical worker and policeman went down the drain. For those who couldn’t do it, Ukrainian government promised online translators – which appeared to be useless too. The only city that can be called English speaking is Kyiv. As it is the main administrative and business center, it has people who deal with this language almost every day. Moreover, it should be said that people in Kyiv are pretty nice so there is a great chance that they will help you.
The last but not least UEFA requirement was the promotion of safety for the foreign football fans. This way the government doubled the police workers in thepotential places of fans' gatherings, which are the stadiums, the staying places and the fan zone, which required a special attention. According to the requirements, it is surrounded with a 3meters-fence and have a double security that check bags for:
- Flammable objects
- Large objects
- Bladed articles
- Professional cameras.
Taking into account the latest incident, that happened in Kyiv fan zone during the game Ukraine against Sweden, call in question all the effective security work. Right at the height of the game, someone threw a smoked bomb in the crowd. Though no one was hurt it doesn’t make you feel secure even with all the guards around.
In any case, Kyiv Fan Zone has its good side like 3 enormous screens and the entertainment places that are on the territory, as well as an interior and exterior video surveillance system that works in every part of the Fan zone. Conversely to the entrance, the interior part of the Fan Zone is being protected by a special patrol. All in all, there are around 500 members of Security Service who keep the situation under control providing as they call it “effective security”.
Who Is To Blame?
And who is to blame in all the “sins”? In Ukraine it’s always like this. The government finds it easier to keep on blaming and putting the guilt on each other instead of dealing with problems together. In the end, there is always a scapegoat.
This time, the Ukrainian politicians blame the change of the ruling powers in the government in all the things that were not done. In reality, it has some logic, because Ukraine was chosen as the EURO 2012 country when Ulia Tymoshenko was still the prime minister and the preparations were finished when she was in prison. Such political situation couldn’t affect the image of the country on the world stage positively. Some disadvantages are visible and some are hidden.
The Light At The End of The Tunnel
Though, there are still good and bad reviews coming about the Ukrainian preparation for the EURO 2012 football championship, it should be noted that the most important requirements were done and the football fans from all around the world have already crossed Ukrainian boarder.
One more thing that will cross all disadvantages is Ukrainian people, who were waiting for the event for a very long time. They built and reconstructed the stadiums and the streets, organised the excursions, applied for volunteering jobs and are now helping in all the possible ways to “make history together” in one of the most exciting sport events – EURO 2012.