Ukraine’s Euro 2012 bid is in jeopardy following serious economic and governmental woes.
It’s something that may not be on the minds of many international soccer fans right now given the organizational headache that is South Africa 2010, but Ukraine, one of the hosts for Euro 2012, is in serious financial and political trouble, according to an article published yesterday in the New York Times.
The Times has reported that “lines are sprouting at banks, the currency is wilting and even a government default seems possible.” On the political side of things, citizens are calling for the resignation of President Viktor Yushchenko, leader of the 2004 Orange Revolution which brought a pro-western government to Kiev.
Clearly, this is not the best environment in which to be hosting an international tournament. Although there are three years until the tournament, Platini and his men in Nyon had better be seeking alternate solutions. Interestingly, Platini thinks Poland may be capable of hosting the tournament on its own. In fact, some think the global economic downturn may actually benefit Poland in its preparation for 2012.
Still, Platini should not place all his faith in Poland, a country with relatively poor infrastructure and stadiums compared to Western European nations. Without Ukraine, Poland would be completely incapable of hosting Euro 2012 on its own. UEFA should invest some serious time and energy in speaking to English, Spanish, and Italian FA officials, although Platini has insisted that there is no “Plan B” for 2012. Perhaps he should admit the impending failure of his joint-host plan and seek other options lest he face the same embarrassment that Sepp Blatter and FIFA have faced in the preparation for South Africa.