Monday, April 30, 2012

German minister urges top officials to boycott Euro2012 soccer matches in Ukraine


BERLIN — A top German official is urging European governments to boycott Euro2012 soccer championship matches in Ukraine to protest the detention of the country’s former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen told German tabloid Bild’s Monday edition that the “dictatorship” of Ukraine must not be able to use the June championship to prop up its image without reforms.
Bild quoted Roettgen as saying that he thinks “visits by ministers or prime ministers are beyond question under the current circumstances.”
Roettgen’s remarks were confirmed to The Associated Press on Sunday by his spokeswoman Julika Lendvai. They were the first call by a top European government minister to avoid the matches.
“The Ukrainian government should immediately release Ms. Tymoshenko to freedom,” he was further quoted as saying.
The Ukrainian opposition leader is serving a seven-year prison sentence on charges of abusing her powers as prime minister in negotiating an energy deal with Russia. The West has strongly condemned the case as politically motivated and threatened to freeze cooperation with Ukraine.
The environment minister — who has no direct power on foreign policy matters — is an ally of conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has been very critical of Kiev’s handling of the Tymoshenko case herself.
Roettgen is currently campaigning as the conservative’s top candidate in a state election due in mid-May.
Tymoshenko has been on a hunger strike for about ten days to protest alleged abuse in a Kharkiv prison. She claims that guards punched her in the stomach and twisted her arms and legs while forcibly taking her to a hospital to be treated for debilitating back pain, stemming from an untreated herniated disk.
Tymoshenko denies the abuse of power charges against her, saying they are part of a campaign by President Viktor Yanukovych, her longtime foe, to bar her from politics. Yanukovych has denied involvement in the case.
Germany has been leading the European Union’s critical stance on Ukraine over the Tymoshenko case. The government is offering to treat her in Berlin, but Kiev has rejected the offer. Tymoshenko refuses to be treated in Ukraine.
Germany’s Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich, also in charge of sports, told the AP in an interview Friday that a boycott of the Ukraine matches by top officials seems possible under the current circumstances, but he stopped short of endorsing the idea.
Opposition leader Sigmar Gabriel told Bild that “there can be no normal relations with Ukraine as long as people are jailed and abused in the country for political reasons.”
The Social Democrat endorsed calls urging top officials to boycott the matches, “because in the stadiums, they might be sitting next to the secret police or prison directors.”

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Ukraine's chaos threatens to engulf Euro 2012

 With only a month until the football kicks off, can Ukraine limit the damage done by terrorist attacks and corruption scandals?
Beaten female prisoners, hunger strikes, and terrorist attacks – surely this is not the backdrop that organisers or Ukrainian football fans imagined for the Euro 2012 football championship that Ukraine is due to co-host with Poland in just over a month.
Yet this is where Ukraine finds itself after four explosions in the eastern city of Dnipropetrovsk injured at least 27 people today, while former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko has begun a hunger strike after an incident in prison where she claims that prison officials kicked her in the stomach while taking her to the hospital by force. All this adds up to a chaotic scene ahead of an event that Ukrainian authorities hoped would draw tourists to the country for a month-long celebration of the beautiful game.
The blasts, which targeted a tram stop, a cinema and a railway station, happened in Tymoshenko's home town and the recriminations have already begun. While President Viktor Yanukovych called the explosions "yet another challenge for the whole country," deputy parliament speaker and Tymoshenko ally Mykola Tomenko suggested that the attack could have been orchestrated by the government in order to quieten western criticism of the Tymoshenko case.
Tymoshenko is currently serving a seven-year sentence for abuse of office in a case condemned across the EU as politically motivated. The case has been the major sticking point in EU/Ukraine relations, with an association agreement negotiated by both sides delayed by concerns about Ukraine's judiciary.
With Euro 2012 looming, Tymoshenko gains leverage with each passing day and Yanukovych's version of the Ukraine begins to look more and more preposterous. Tymoshenko is proving that while she remains in prison, she still has the power to politically hurt her rival, and while she cannot be mistaken for the sainted Aung San Suu Kyi, she remains a sympathetic figure in the eyes of EU citizens precisely because of the heavy-handed way in which she was treated by Yanukovych and his allies, a situation that draws obvious parallels to the treatment of jailed oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
When Ukrainian first deputy prime minister Valeriy Khoroshkovskiy implied this week that Ukraine would free Yulia Tymoshenko if the EU signed the association agreement, all the worst stereotypes associated with post-Soviet political life immediately came to mind. While this sort of transactional politics may be perfectly normal in Ukraine's political arena, it falls far outside the EU's more bureaucratic norms.
Ukraine suffered another political blow when German president Joachim Gauck chose to boycott a central European heads of state meeting scheduled for next month in Yalta. While the German team is unlikely to boycott the championships, a number of EU politicians may do so and German fans who were still undecided about following their team to Kharkiv and Lviv may think twice about going just like the English, Croatians, Dutch or French.
This is not necessarily because of poor politics, but because of atrocious public relations. If the perception among the EU press is that Ukraine is a corrupt society that cannot afford decent treatment to someone like Yulia Tymoshenko, then why should a regular fan feel safe when all the bad stereotypes of lawlessness beyond the EU's eastern frontier are being actively reinforced by Ukraine's government?
At the same time, the terrorist blasts in Dnipropetrovsk add to the perception of chaos and with reports that the police are now checking rubbish bins around the city for more explosives, the tension is unlikely to dissipate soon.
It all adds up to a public relations disaster for the Ukrainian government, and with the championships a little more than a month away, it will soon be too late for damage control, even in the arena where the authorities retain full control of the situation.
Sadly, it may not matter how beautiful Lviv is, or how good the modernisation of Kiev's Olimpiysky National Sports Complex turned out. Ukraine's championships are in trouble, and time is quickly running out.

Blasts injure 27 in Ukraine ahead of Euro 2012

FOUR EXPLOSIONS in the home town of Ukraine’s jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko have injured 27 people just weeks before the country co-hosts the Euro 2012 football championship.
The bombs exploded in quick succession yesterday around the city of Dnipropetrovsk in what officials called a suspected “terrorist attack”.
“For us, this is the latest challenge for the whole country,” said President Viktor Yanukovich. “We will think how to respond properly. I think we will manage. It is sad that this happened.”
Dnipropetrovsk is not a host city for Euro 2012, which starts in six weeks in Ukraine and Poland. It is a major industrial hub about 250km from Donetsk and Kharkiv, which between them will stage games involving England, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Portugal, among others.
“This issue needs to be treated with the utmost seriousness,” said Polish prime minister Donald Tusk. “An attack in our region is something that is very rare and the Euro 2012 context means we are particularly vigilant about such incidents.”
European football’s governing body, Uefa, said it still had “confidence in the security measures that have been developed . . . which will ensure a smooth and festive tournament.”
Dnipropetrovsk is the birthplace of Ms Tymoshenko (51), the former prime minister whose jailing for abuse of power has been denounced by the European Union and United States.
They say the cases brought against her and several allies are politically motivated, lending weight to Ms Tymoshenko’s claims that Mr Yanukovich is using Ukraine’s courts to sideline his most popular rival ahead of general elections later this year.
Ms Tymoshenko is on hunger strike and says prison guards in Kharkiv punched her in the stomach when taking her against her will to a local hospital. German doctors who have examined her say she needs urgent treatment abroad for severe back problems. German president Joachim Gauck has cancelled a planned visit to Kiev and Ukraine’s opposition is urging officials from EU states to boycott Euro 2012 games in the country.
The EU’s justice commissioner Viviane Reding urged Uefa “to take into account the dramatic situation” of Ms Tymoshenko.
“You cannot close your eyes on human rights, even during a great sporting celebration,” she said.
Ms Tymoshenko’s allies said the explosions could be part of a government ploy to distract attention from her plight and even provide a pretext for a declaration of emergency rule.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Managerless England ready for Euros, say Pearce


England interim manager Stuart Pearce is convinced his countrycan thrive at Euro 2012 even though it is without a permanentboss less than two months before the tournament starts.
Pearce has been England's temporary coach since FabioCapello's resignation in February following a row with theFootball Assocation over its decision to strip John Terry of thenational team captaincy without consulting the Italian.
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp is widely regarded as theleading candidate to takeoverwith Newcastle boss Alan Pardewand West Bromwich Albion chief Roy Hodgson also in therunning.
But the FA is yet to confirm who will take charge for thetournament in Poland and Ukraine as it waits for the domesticseason to draw to a closeIt is even possible that Pearce will beasked to take England to Euro 2012 before returning to his roleas England Under-21 manager and coach of the Britain men'steam at the 2012 Olympics.
Yetregardless of which man eventually gets the nod to lead EnglandPearce believes the nextboss will find all the preparatory ground work has been laid for a successful tournament.
"Whether it is me taking the squad or someone elsethe planning is totally done," Pearce said. "I think they will be quite happy with the decisions that have been made over the last fewmonthsboth started off by Fabio and continued by myselfbut everything is in placesomeonecould just walk through the door and take the squad tomorrow.
"It will be a benefit to me whichever way it fallsI'm more than happy to take both tournamentsthis summerit would be a great experience for me and I'm more than happy doing both jobs."
MeanwhileLondon 2012 chairman Lord Coe has told Pearce he is free to pick his Britainsquad for the Olympics purely on sporting considerations.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

"Hold him at home" anti reclame EURO 2012



Anti reclame on NED-1  and  NED-2  to hold men at home in Netherlands.
Don not let him go to Ukraine EURO 2012.

Hou 'm thuis. EURO 2012

Nederlandse Energie Maatschappij.
According to the official, “the Ukrainian Ambassador to the Netherlands has already met with representatives of the local football federation, who are sponsored by the company responsible for releasing the commercial.”
Dikusarov stressed that the Royal Dutch Football Association “strongly condemned” the ad and assured the Ambassador that they weren’t aware of its production. 
The Ukrainian women are renowned for their looks, with a recent survey from Traveller’s Digest calling the female residents of the capital Kiev the most beautiful on the planet.
The Netherlands were drawn in, the so-called ‘Group of Death’, at Euro 2012. They’ll hold their games against the strong teams Germany, Portugal and Denmark in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv.



Ukraine face goalkeeper crisis ahead of Euro 2012


Euro 2012 co-hosts Ukraine may find themselves in real trouble if their number one keeper Aleksandr Shovkovsky’s injury proves to be serious.
Shovkovsky damaged his shoulder in Dynamo Kiev’s against Volyn in the Ukrainian league and may well be out of the European Championships, which kick off on June 8.

“It’s serious,”
 Yury Semin, Dynamo’s coach, said of his man’s injury.
Shovkovsky is to go to Germany for a medical examination, but according to the Kiev team’s goalkeeper trainer, Mikhail Mikhailov, the 37-year-old is sure to miss at least three weeks.
The veteran goalie has played 90 games for his country, conceding 73 goals. Shovkovsky was in goal when Ukraine reached the quarterfinals of the FIFA World Cup in 2006.
The Ukrainians have lost two of their other first-choice keepers since the start of the year, with Shakhtar’s Aleksandr Rybka getting a two-year ban for doping and Andrey Dikan suffering a serious facial injury keeping goal for Spartak Moscow in the Russian Premier League.
Ukraine, who co-host Euro 2012 together with neighbors Poland, have been drawn against Sweden, France and England in the tournament’s group stages.

EURO 2012: England’s Three Lions


Are England actually fielding lions in EURO 2012? Will crossing our fingers help our tournament prospects?
Happy St George’s Day to you and yours by the way!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Carlsberg funny promo for UEFA EURO 2012™

Carlsberg, official sponsor of UEFA EURO 2012™, is launching its new global television commercial, which inspires football fans to show their passion for their team, as the summer's biggest football tournament approaches.
Join us at http://www.facebook.com/Carlsberg

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Poland's Euro 2012 stadium clears new hurdle


Poland's national stadium, where Euro 2012 kicks off in two months, cleared a new hurdle on Tuesday with its first ever club game, pitting Polish league leaders Legia Warsaw against Spanish side Sevilla.
The friendly, which ended 2-0 for the Spanish side, was seen by the stadium management as a way for the staff to hone their skills.
Drawing 20,000 supporters, it followed the 58,000-capacity arena's February 29 footballing debut, a sell-out friendly between Poland and Portugal that was hailed as a logistical success.
Co-hosts Poland kick off the European Championship against Greece on June 8 at the stadium in the heart of the capital.
But with concerns about hooliganism running high, matches between Polish clubs have so far been off limits at the 1.9-billion-zloty (453m euro, $591m) ground.
Police have underlined the need to improve the security-communications system for higher-risk games.
The stadium had been due to make its debut on February 11, hosting the Super Cup between 2011 Polish Cup winners Legia and league champions Wisla Krakow.
The authorities called off the match three days beforehand, however, citing security fears.
Legia fans have repeatedly fallen foul of officialdom both at their own new stadium -- which lies over the River Vistula from the national arena -- and elsewhere.
This month they have been banned from three away games in a row due to trouble during a league game against Wisla in Krakow.
Legia's management has lambasted the violent minority, underlining that they keep racking up financial penalties for the club.
Ignoring the announcer's appeals on Tuesday, a section of the crowd set off flares and fireworks, a regular problem in Polish stadia.
There had also been plans to hold next week's cup final at the national stadium, but the Polish football association opted for the southern city of Kielce.
That decision came before the names of the finalists, Legia and Ruch Chorzow, were known, but the association was mindful that the 2011 edition in the northern city of Bydgoszcz between Legia and Lech Poznan ended with a pitch invasion and brawl.
Polish police say the hooligan hardcore number up to 5,000 in this nation of 38.5 million.
Long accused of failing to take the problem seriously enough, and aware of the Euro 2012 spotlight, the authorities were stung into action after last year's cup final and have bolstered electronic tagging and stadium bans.
The broad-brush approach has alienated many ordinary fans, however.
Poland's other Euro 2012 stadia are in the Baltic port of Gdansk, the western city of Poznan, and Wroclaw in the southwest.
Fellow host nation Ukraine's quartet are in Kiev -- the venue for the July 1 final -- plus Lviv, Donetsk and Kharkiv.

Euro 2012 - Ukraine tells fans to get measles jab

Ukraine - which will host Euro 2012 in June together with Poland - has urged fans to get vaccinated against measles before visiting as the country gets to grips with fears of a mass epidemic.

"If you plan to come to Ukraine, please get vaccinated at home," Oleksandr Kravchuk, deputy head of the state sanitary and epidemiological service, told the Kiev Post. "The situation with measles is unfavourable in our country."
The European Centre of Disease Prevention and Control, a European Union agency in charge of fighting infectious diseases, reported a measles outbreak in the former Soviet republic last month with over 5,000 cases registered.
The outbreak was concentrated in the western part of the country bordering on Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.
"The epidemic is expected to accelerate and spread geographically during the peak transmission season for measles from February to June," ECDC said.
The news is yet another blow to Ukraine's hopes of boosting its tourism industry through the championship, with reports of outrageous price gouging among hoteliers already putting scores of fans off.
A one-star hotel in Donetsk, where England face France on June 11, is asking for £1,000 a night, while even guesthouses 35 miles away are looking for £240 per person per night.
Meanwhile, a room at the Ibis hotel in Kiev would normally cost £49, but is currently advertised for £550 when England are playing Sweden in the city on June 15.
UEFA president Michel Platini blasted the "bandits and swindlers" who have jacked up prices ten-fold at many hotels.
"You cannot raise prices from 40 euros to 100 euros to 500 euros from one day to the next. That is just not done," Platini added.
The government has now been forced to step in and ban hotels from carrying out such price rises.
Many fans remain cautious, however, with the Football Supporters' Federation predicting that just 3000 England fans will travel to the event - just a third of the 9000 tickets allocated for England for their match against Sweden.
"The amount of England fans travelling to the tournament is going to be lower than any in living memory," said the FSF's Kevin Miles.
Eurosport / Reuters

You might get measles if you go to Euro 2012


On top of outrageously priced hotel rooms and the prospect of seeing dogs burned alive in the streets, those attending Euro 2012 will also have the added fun of potentially catching an infectious virus. The European Centre of Didease Prevention and control reported 5,000 cases of measles in the Ukraine during the last month, and officials are urging football fans to get their vaccinations up to date before they arrive at the tournament which begins in 50 days time:
"If you plan to come to Ukraine, please get vaccinated at home," Oleksandr Kravchuk, deputy head of the state sanitary and epidemiological service, told the Kiev Post. "The situation with measles is unfavourable in our country."
If you're travelling to the tournament and need to schedule some vaccinations, be sure to put a considerable wedge of cash aside for the aforementioned overpriced hotels too. It's been reported that a one-star hotel in Donetsk is asking for $1,600 for a room on the evening of the England vs France game, which is around $1,595 more than you should pay for a one-star in that part of Europe.
UEFA prez Michel Platini has labelled the hoteliers as "bandits and swindlers," but Ukrainian infrastructure minister Borys Kolesnikov (awesome surname) believes the inflated prices will "stabilise by the end of April." Quite what he thinks will make the hotels charge lower prices as demand increases is unclear, but here's to wishful thinking.

Monday, April 16, 2012

MEDIA RIGHTS SALES EXTENSIVE COVERAGE



Supporters will enjoy extensive and innovative opportunities to follow UEFA EURO 2012
across all media platforms following the successful conclusion of agreements with broadcast partners. As well as reinforcing and increasing awareness of the brand values of
UEFA and the UEFA European Football Championship, the prime objective when negotiating the sale of media rights is to maximize the distribution and visibility of tournaments.
This has been achieved for UEFA EURO 2012 with partners providing a depth of multi-media
coverage. They are able to activate a broad portfolio of rights, exploited across all media
platforms, including television – both free-toair and pay TV – internet and mobile on a linear
and on-demand basis. This platform-neutral approach will ensure maximum exposure for
the tournament in Poland and Ukraine, while at the same time providing broadcast partners with increased value and flexibility for their programming.

UEFA EURO 2012  LIST OF BROADCAST PARTNERS EUROPE:

Albania    RTVSH
Armenia    AMPTV
Austria    ORF
Azerbaijan   AZ TV
Belarus    BTRC
Belgium    RTBF/ VRT
Bosnia and Herzegovina BHRT
Bulgaria    BNT
Croatia    HRT
Cyprus    CyCBC
Czech Republic   Ceska Televize
Denmark    TV2/DR
Estonia    ERR
FyR Macedonia   MKRTV
Finland    yLE/ MTV
Georgia    GTVR
Germany     ARD/ ZDF
Greece    ERT

Hungary    MTV
Iceland    RUV
Italy     RAI
Israel    Charlton
Kazakhstan   Kazakhstan TV
Kosovo    RTK
Latvia    LT
Lithuania    LRT
Malta    PBS
Moldova    TRM
Montenegro   RTCG
Netherlands    NOS
Norway     Canal 9/NRK/TV2
Poland     TVP
Portugal     RTP/SIC/SPORT TV/TVI
Republic of Ireland   RTE
Romania    TVR
Russian Federation   RTR/ C1R
Serbia    RTS
Slovakia    RTVS
Slovenia    RTVSLO
Spain    Mediaset España
Sweden     SVT/TV4
Switzerland   SRG SSR
Turkey    TRT
United Kingdom   BBC/ ITV
Ukraine    TRK/ NTU
WORLDWIDE COVERAGE OF UEFA EURO 2012:

Australia Setanta Sports Australia
Brazil TV Globo and Globosat
Canada TSN and RDS
China CCTV
Hong Kong PCCW
Indian Sub-Continent NEO Sports
Indonesia RCTI and Indovision
Malaysia and
Brunai Darussalam Astro

Middle East, North Africa and
Northern Sub-Saharan Africa Al Jazeera
Mexico TV Azteca and Televisa (OTI)
Mongolia TV9
Myanmar Shwe Than Lwin Media Company Limited
Latin America Televideo Services
Singapore StarHub
Sub-Saharan Africa and
South Africa Canal Horizons/SuperSport International
Thailand Grammy
United States of America ESPN
Venezuela Meridiano TV




Saturday, April 14, 2012

EURO 2012 useful information




EURO 2012 punishment as Public Shaming


Important lesson for all who travel to Ukraine for the Euros in a couple of months: don’t kick stuff.
A couple of local gents in Dnepropetrovsk had a bit too much of the lager and when jaunting about town, decided to kick one of the giant display balls, which then smashed into pieces. Not having the requisite capital to replace the ball, they were “publicly shamed” as punishment.
They duo were forced to stand by the broken symbol of the European football championships for nearly 24 hours, holding banners, which said: “I’m a complete idiot – I broke the Euro 2012 ball” in their hands.
The ITAR-TASS news agency says the local police claim “the men, chose such punishment themselves.”
This is an excellent idea for the tournament, really, and should be spread generously across the sport to include diving, time-wasting, tactics which sit ten men behind the ball at all times and David Villa’s facial hair.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Some UEFA EURO 2012 figures

Ticketing
1.4 million  the total number of tickets available for sale, and 85% the percentage allocated
to fans 12,149,425 ticket applications received between 1 and 31 March 2011206 countries and territories from which ticket requests were made€50 the price of the cheapest ticket for the final – rising to €600 for the most expensive
Volunteers
5,500 volunteers will be appointed to assist UEFA’s staff in 20 different areas23,965  applications were submitted by candidates from 142 different countries54% of applications came from women
TV
150 million  is the expected live TV audience for each match200  territories are expected to broadcast UEFA EURO 2012 around the world Transport network750km of motorways have been constructed in Poland since 2007 1,500km of roads have been built and reconstructed in
Ukraine since 2007 Double the capacity of the airports in all eight host cities

What’s new in the EURO 2012 competition regulations?

UEFA has announced two changes to the Regulations of the UEFA European Football Championship 2010–12, related to abandoned matches and friendly international fixtures scheduled in the run-up to the tournament.
Paragraph 10.08 has been amended and paragraph 10.09 added to stipulate that if a match is abandoned, only the remaining part of the game must be completed the following day – unless the case is referred to the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body. If it cannot be completed the following day, the UEFA administration will take a final decision. Players substituted or sent off in the abandoned match may not be included on the match sheet when it re-starts. And those players in play at the time of the abandonment may not be included as substitutes when the match is resumed. Teams can make only the number of substitutions available to them when the game was abandoned.
The other decision refers to paragraph 2.08, which prohibits teams which have qualified for the final round from playing each other in the month before the start of the tournament. One exception is now granted, allowing teams that have not been drawn into the same group to play
each other once.

Pulling out the stops to meet hotel requirements

Accommodating all the fans who will be travelling to Poland and Ukraine this summer has proved a challenge for the authorities in both countries, but one they have responded to
with vigour. Poland has met UEFA’s requirements in full, while in Ukraine building is continuing apace.In both countries, massive strides have been made to meet the challenge of UEFA EURO 2012. In Poland, Warsaw built 30 new hotels between 2008 and 2010; in Gdansk that number increases to 42; in Wroclaw 11 new hotels provide an additional 980 rooms; and Poznan has 6 new hotels. Ukraine too has risen to the challenge. In Kyiv 5 hotels with 200 rooms or more have been built, adding 1,217 rooms in all, and 7 hotels have been built in Kharkiv. Lviv and the neighbouring area of Truskavets – a touristic destination – already has a well-developed hotel infrastructure and is considering using spas to accommodate fans. In addition, accommodation in areas surrounding the host cities in Ukraine will be used to meet the demand for overnight stays, as will dormitory-type accommodation, bed and breakfasts and campsites. Several dedicated fan camp projects are currently being developed, in particular in the cities of Kyiv and Donetsk, and they aim at offering a few thousand additional beds, in much the same way as had been done at previous championships.Fans looking for accommodation should try these links:
http://www.accom2012.com
A practical link to find accommodation, in both Poland and Ukraine
http://www.polishpass.org
A link for fans who want to discover Poland during UEFA EURO 2012
http://hotelsukraine.com.ua
A site dedicated to hotels and hostels in Ukraine
All these sites are all updated regularly.

THE UKRAINE IS CLEANING OF THE AREA BEFORE EURO 2012


The UEFA Executive Committee decided in 2007 to allow Poland and the Ukraine to co-host this year’s European Football tournament, because they never have before, so maybe they’d try to impress. Sixteen teams will compete at Euro 12 from June 8 through July 1 at the Donbass Arena Stadium in Donetsk, Ukraine, and so far it seems that everything will be fine, so long as the players and fans don’t mind stepping over thousands of stray dogs.

German Princess Maja von Hohenzollern has joined forces with animal groups and shelters in the Ukraine to raise awareness to the country’s terrible stray pet population, so they can start rounding some of these pooches up at shelters instead of sending a kill squad to start putting them all down. And while some stray dogs and cats aren’t nearly as bad as soiled mattresses, streets overrun with garbage and wild, diseased monkeys attacking people, it is still upsetting to know that people don’t care about giving pooches like these guys or this fella some help.

In other Euro 2012 news – so I can get my soccer post quota covered in one fell swoop – team officials from all over Europe are blasting Ukraine’s hotels for spiking prices to ridiculous levels, even for people with longstanding reservations. Obviously they’ve never tried to book a Spring Break in Daytona.


In response, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister pledged to take action.

Speaking alongside Mr Platini, Borys Kolesnikov said he would take appropriate measures within the next 30 days to solve the problem.

“It’s annoying to have made a lot of investment and then say to people that they can’t come because there are bandits and crooks who want to make a lot of money during this Euro,” Mr Platini said.

“You can’t change (the price of a room) from 40 euros (£33; $52) to 100 and then up to 500 just like that, from one day to the other, this just is not done,” he said.

(Via BBC News)

Maybe in Europe, but I tip my capitalist hat to the Ukraine’s hotels for playing hardball. Go ahead and change all the plugs, too.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Ticketing innovations

UEFA has launched two new ticketing programmes for UEFA EURO 2012 which will enhance
the experience for supporters wishing to travel to Poland and Ukraine. The PNA (participating national associations) Fan Sales Programme and Tour Operator Programme, which went live in December, are considered especially important for a competition which presents different challenges from logistical and infrastructural perspectives. Around 85% of the 1.4 million tickets available for the final tournament will go to supporters, and fans of the 16 finalists are able to apply for
tickets through the PNA Fan Sales Programme via 16 individual sales portals on UEFA.com. The portals are the only way for supporters to obtain tickets directly. Tickets are not being sold on a first-come, first-served basis, which means
that fans can apply for tickets at any time while the sales window remains open and will have the same chance as everyone else. The Tour Operator Programme enables supporters to purchase all-in-one travel packages, including accommodation and the right to buy a related match ticket on UEFA.com afterwards.
Authorised travel packages are only available from licensed UEFA tour operators. No more than two tour operators are licensed per territory and their websites can be accessed via links beneath the team flags on UEFA.com.
The programme began on 12 December and runs until 1 March. The UEFA EURO 2012 ticketing workshop took place in Warsaw on 8 and 9 December, attended by representatives from all 16 participatingnational associations, who were given
a walk-through of the fan sales portals and shown how to use the system for their own internal ticket allocations. Other areas covered included financial and legal matters and the precise team allocations per match. Participants also had the opportunity to discuss matters with Adam Olkowicz, UEFA EURO 2012
tournament director for Poland. UEFA.com received more than 12 million applications
for the first wave of UEFA EURO 2012 tickets, which went on general sale in March
2011 – a UEFA European Football Championship record – with a ballot held to determine the successful applicants.

Where the teams will be staying


The 16 EURO 2012 contenders have chosen their base camps for this
summer’s final tournament, with Ukraine one of two sides based in
Kyiv, while co-hosts Poland will be in Warsaw along with Croatia, Greece
and Russia. The local organising committees in Poland and Ukraine
identified a selection of 38 outstanding accommodation options for the
finalists, combining a hotel with nearby training facilities, all of which
were included in the team base catalogue distributed to all 53 UEFA
member associations in September 2010.
After an application process, the associations with teams in the final
tournament confirmed their bookings after the final draw in December
2011, with 13 of them having elected to stay in Poland for the duration of the tournament. Poland, Croatia, Greece and Russia will all be based
in and around the capital, where the co-hosts will use the home of KSP
Polonia Warszawa as their training ground. The Gdansk region proved
to be equally popular: Denmark, Germany, the Republic of Ireland and
world and European champions Spain will all feel the fresh air off the
Baltic Sea during the finals from 8 June, and will hope to have reason
to stick around until the final on 1 July.
Krakow does not boast a EURO 2012 venue, but Poland’s second city
will get its share of the action off the field when England, Italy and the
Netherlands settle in for their tournament campaign. England will
train at the Hutnik Stadium, with Italy and the Netherlands using the
facilities of local clubs MKS Cracovia Kraków and Wisła Kraków respectively.
Portugal, meanwhile, will have Poznan to themselves, while the
Czech Republic are staying close to home, just over the Polish border in
Wroclaw. Ukraine will stay in their own capital, Kyiv, where they will be
joined by Sweden. France will be in Donetsk. UEFA took initial bookings
for the base camps on a first-come, first-served basis, with each
visiting national association being invited to book six facilities – two
as preferred options and the remainder as waitlisted choices.
TEAM Hotels Training Ground
ESP Hotel Mistral Sport in Gniewino Municipal Stadium Gniewino
IRL Sheraton Sopot Hotel Municipal Stadium Gdynia
GER Hotel Dwor Oliwski in Gdansk Municipal Sport Center Gdansk
DEN Hotel Marine in Kolobrzeg Municipal Stadium Kolobrzeg
POR Hotel Remes Sport & Spa in Opalenica Municipal Stadium Opalenica
GRE Hotel Warszawianka Wellness & Spa in Serock Municipal Stadium Legionowo
RUS Hotel Le Meridien Bristol in Warsaw Municipal Stadium Sulejowek
CRO Hotel Sielanka in Warka Training Ground Sielanka
CZE Hotel Monopol in Wroclaw Municipal Stadium Oporowska Wroclaw
NED Sheraton Krakow Hotel in Krakow Municipal Stadium Wisla Krakow
ITA Turowka Hotel & Spa in Wieliczka Municipal Stadium Cracovia
POL Hyatt Regency in Warsaw Municipal Stadium Polonia Warszawa
ENG Stary Hotel in Krakow Hutnik Stadium
FRA Kirsha Training Facility in Donetsk Kirsha Training Facility
UKR Dynamo Kyiv Training Center in Kyiv Dynamo Kyiv Training Center
SWE Platium Hotel, Kyiv Region Koncha Zaspa Training Center

Pulling out the stops to meet hotel requirements

Accommodating all the fans who will be travellingto Poland and Ukraine this summer has proved a challenge for the authorities in both countries, but one they have responded to with vigour. Poland has met UEFA’s requirements in full, while in Ukraine building is continuing apace. In both countries, massive strides have been
made to meet the challenge of UEFA EURO 2012. In Poland, Warsaw built 30 new hotels
between 2008 and 2010; in Gdansk that number increases to 42; in Wroclaw 11 new
hotels provide an additional 980 rooms; and Poznan has 6 new hotels. Ukraine too has risen to the challenge. In Kyiv 5 hotels with 200 rooms or more have been
built, adding 1,217 rooms in all, and 7 hotels have been built in Kharkiv. Lviv and the neighbouring area of Truskavets – a touristic destination – already has a well-developed hotel infrastructure and is considering using spas to accommodate fans. In addition, accommodation in areas surrounding the host cities in
Ukraine will be used to meet the demand for overnight stays, as will dormitory-type accommodation, bed and breakfasts and campsites. Several dedicated fan camp projects are currently being developed, in particular in the cities of Kyiv and Donetsk, and they aim at offering a few thousand additional beds, in much the same way as had been done at previous championships. Fans looking for accommodation should try these links:
http://www.accom2012.com
A practical link to find accommodation,in both Poland and Ukraine
http://www.polishpass.org A link for fans who want to discover Poland during UEFA EURO 2012 http://hotelsukraine.com.ua A site dedicated to hotels and hostels
in Ukraine.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

UEFA EURO 2012 official song


Having had a No.1 single in both co-host countries, German-American pop star Oceana is the natural choice to sing the official UEFA EURO 2012 song, the upcoming release of which is widely anticipated. Oceana – whose 2009 hit Cry Cry topped the charts in Poland and Ukraine as well as other European countries, and featured a video shot in Kyiv – is to deliver the song that will showcase this summer’s much awaited UEFA European Championship to the world. The 29-year-old not
only won the audience award at the prestigious 2009 Sopot song contest, she also participated in the Polish version of the popular Dancing with the Stars television show. Presenter on the German/French Arte TV channel, she was introduced to UEFA by the Embassy of Music. Oceana connects black to white, funk to soul, modern soul to jazz and pop. Her new song will be released ahead of UEFA EURO 2012.
“I’m looking forward to the EURO 2012 championships and am so happy to be part of this amazing event! I love football and can’t wait to perform my song in a stadium. Soon the wait is over and we can all celebrate when the goals are scored!” she said.

Poland select 18 old ladies to perform their official Euro 2012 song:

The bar for European Championships theme songs was set extraordinarily low with Shaggy's Euro 2008 anthem 'Like a Superstar', which is good news for Poland and their Euro 2012 ditty 'Koko Euro Spoko'.
The Poles were given the right to choose their Euro 2012 song on an X Factor-style TV show on Wednesday night. Pop groups, ska bands and a rapper were beaten by Jarzebina — Polish for rowanberry — an 18-member ensemble of heavyset Polish women in traditional rural dress.
Some Polish football fans have reacted angrily online, suggesting the "kitschy" and "embarrassing" song might have won the competition through some sort of vote sabotage. Even the staunchest of Jarzebina critics, however, will have to admit the chorus is pretty infectious.

The official ball EURO 2012

The official ball for UEFA EURO 2012 is the adidas Tango 12, the fourth incarnation of the iconic Tango ball used at three previous finals. The adidas Tango 12 – the 11th official adidas EURO ball – was unveiled at the draw for the final tournament in Kyiv in December by Ukrainian Olympic legend Serhiy Bubka. It includes a coloured outline based on the Polish and Ukrainian flags and is a modern interpretation of the classic design. The Tangoinspired designs used at earlier tournaments were the 1980 Tango River Plate, the 1984 Tango Mundial and the 1988 Tango Europa.
Developed over a two-year period and tested by players of all abilities in eight countries, the
adidas Tango 12 will be used for the first time in a competitive international when Poland get
the tournament under way against Greece in Warsaw on 8 June. Shortly after the draw, every
association taking part in the summer tournament received an allocation of 30 adidas Tango 12 balls for training and match use.