UPDATE 3-Soccer-Ukraine, Poland to speed up or lose Euro 2012
(adds details, quotes) By Darren Ennis
BORDEAUX, France, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Poland and Ukraine could still lose the right to stage the Euro 2012 soccer finals unless preparations are stepped up, UEFA president Michel Platini said on Friday.
"The executive committee reconfirmed UEFA's commitment to organise Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine," Platini told a news conference in Bordeaux.
"At the same time the committee stressed a number of conditions must be met in order to bring forward the whole project."
When asked if Ukraine and Poland could still lose the right to stage the tournament if they failed to meet those conditions, Platini said: "Yes, the completion of the Kiev and Warsaw stadiums remains an essential element of the whole project
"Without Kiev or without Warsaw (stadiums) we cannot have a tournament. We will have stadiums, we will have wonderful stadiums but we were promised hotels and airports, but we won't have airports. We were promised roads. The Kiev and Warsaw governments must deliver," Platini said.
UEFA also said it may reduce the number of stadiums to be used with a minimum of six and maximum of eight in the light of the slow progress and there may not necessarily be the same number of venues in each country.
"The deadline is May 2009. We will regularly assess the situation on the ground and I, along with the executive, will finally decide on which stadiums, if they are ready, in 2009," Platini said.
He added that his organisation had not yet looked into a "plan B" if Poland and Ukraine are not ready on time.
"But if we don't have a stadium neither in Kiev or Warsaw, we will have to find something different," Platini said.
Poland and Ukraine were given the reprieve after the executive committee of European soccer's governing body met in Bordeaux to discuss a progress report on preparations for the tournament.
Both were awarded the 2012 tournament last year, beating off competition from Italy and a joint bid by Hungary and Croatia, but have struggled to tackle the colossal tasks of upgrading stadiums and modernising airports, rail and road networks and hotels.
Polish FA president Michal Listkiewicz told Reuters he was "satisfied all the uncertainty is over".
"We can now concentrate on getting on with the job. It will be tough, but all this will we won't we speculation hasn't helped us at all," he said.
"I am confident and even more confident because I received information today that the work has now started on the Warsaw stadium. The roads, airports and other infastructure will come.
Grigoriy Surkis, president of the Ukrainian FA, said he was relieved.
"I'm happy with the decision, it means we can continue with our preparations," he told Reuters.
"We have been told to step up our efforts in regards our infrastructure but we have shown enough progress to satisfy UEFA for the time being." (additional reporting by Patrick Vignal; editing by Miles Evans)
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