Monday, June 11, 2012

Kiev starts

Euro 2012 finally arrives in Kiev. Capital city of Ukraine starts with Ukraine-Sweden. Atmosphere is fantastic as well as weather. No tickets left and everything is ready for a proper football celebration.

Swedish fans are ready as well. You can see them everywhere in the streets of Kiev and its much fun (video illustration). As national colours of both countries are the same Kiev goes pretty yellow today. 

Yeah and when Swedes drink, they can express themselves :D

June 2012 is a football month. At least European continent will be watching and talking about football. Even people who are not much excited about the EURO’12 unwillingly witness exalted crowd dressed and coloured in different national t-shirts/colours. or might be facing annoying comments/posts through social networks and traditional media outlets. Anyways, this is something that cannot be easily avoided. :)

Warsaw. Poland
Many friends of mine in Warsaw are not necessarily happy about being part of it, some try to escape from the championship to different cities and those who stay complain about football hysteria in the country/host cities. In fact, once you enter the capital of Poland, you realize that football pretty much took over everything, TV, Radio, Internet, ads which are literally everywhere starting from transport to skyscrapers.  in addition to the overly football atmosphere, both countries Poland and Ukraine had quite high expenditure on the tournament. Infrastructure has been modernized, new highways, airport terminals, trains, additional means of transportation, metro and other urban changes, which have been going on for quite a while already. This is obviously not a full list of things happening for this one particular event, but most importantly as EURO’12 is a football championship, eight different stadiums have been built. Some completely new, some have been reconstructed entirely.. yep both countries are not the top football nations in Europe, thus most of the things have been done almost from nothing.
Certainly nobody has an expectation that Euro’12 will be the best organised event in the history, but in terms of developing football and triggering number of changes in these countries is something that UEFA can be proud of. Those stadiums and infrastructure will not disappear as Euro’12 ends. It will pay off in the end, and both countries have an excellent opportunity to attract quite a number of tourists and promote their countries all over the world.

On this note, I have to express my scepticism about the Georgian bid for hosting European Championship in 2020. Witnessing how Poland and Ukraine are dealing with things, it will be extremely hard, not if impossible to host such a massive event. Not to mention financial aspect (obviously not funded by UEFA), there are so many things need to be considered.. also number of countries for the European Championship will increase for the next tournaments, which means that more stadiums are needed, more resources and despite the fact that I do think those kind of events have great influence on countries development, I highly doubt that even theoretically Georgia can handle such a big event. In any case looking forward to the panel decision for the Euro 2020.