Ukraine’s government almost cost the country the chance to stage the first major soccer tournament in Eastern Europe. CNN reports UEFA president Michele Platini thought about moving the 2012 European Championships because preparations were lagging behind schedule.
However, citizens elected a new government, which got work back on track. Platini says work will not be complete by the time the tournament kicks off on June 8, 2012, but 95 percent is good enough for the former France natioanl team hero.
“We didn’t feel the strong support of the government because there were some political problems and we thought perhaps to change (hosts).When you bring (the Euros) to Poland and Ukraine you change the life for the people,” Platini said.
“But it was my job to come back and say ‘Are you ready to organize this competition?’ At the end they gave us a guarantee, the government changed, and the new president and his team they made a big effort to build stadiums, roads and airports.”
Poland and Ukraine will co-host the month-long event that features Europe’s top players and national teams. 2008 champion Spain looks to defend its title as Europe’s best. Germany and the Netherlands are also favorites.
See Platini discuss Euro 2012 preparations in the video below.