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Friday, August 19, 2005

They deserve it

Ukraine, Poland pledge further work on 2012 Euro bid

KIEV, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Ukraine and Poland agreed on Thursday to press on with a joint bid to stage the 2012 European championship and pledged high-level support in the two east European states.

"I think we have a good chance. We had a good look at the facilities here. The Ukrainian side is preparing for this very seriously," Deputy Education Minister Jerzy Ciszewski, the top Polish official overseeing the bid, told Reuters.

"At the moment, we do not have enough top quality stadiums. But I believe we can find the money to upgrade what we have. I see no problem in securing the necessary funds."

Ciszewski on Wednesday met Hrihory Surkis, head of Ukraine's football federation, on the sidelines of the Valery Lobanovsky memorial tournament. Poland defeated Israel in the final of the four-nation tournament.

Surkis said the two sides would hold new meetings to work out final details before the bidding process enters the next phase in November.

"The government and our president fully support this idea," he said. "If we get approval to go through to the next stage we will be able to produce more thorough evidence of our ability to hold such an event."

The joint proposal faces stiff competition from individual bids by Greece, Italy and Turkey. Croatia and Hungary have also submitted a joint bid to stage the tournament.


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