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Poland may host Euro 2012 alone if Ukraine not ready

WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland may host Euro 2012 alone if Ukraine’s stadiums are not ready, UEFA project director Martin Kallen said during a visit to Warsaw on Wednesday.

Martin Kallen, chief operating officer for the event organisers of Euro 2008, addresses a news conference in Zurich July 29, 2008. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/Files

Matches at the tournament are scheduled to be held in four Polish and four Ukrainian venues but economic troubles, a severe winter and political tensions have exacerbated delays in Ukraine’s preparations for the 16-nation tournament.

“As long as we can play in four cities in Ukraine we will go for it. If that is no longer the case then we would look for other options... One of them is to play more games in Poland,” Kallen told reporters.

“It does not mean that new venues would be needed. The tournament can be played at four stadiums,” he added.

The four Ukrainian venues for the tournament are the capital Kiev and the cities of Lviv, Donetsk and Kharkiv.

The former Soviet republic was given a two-month deadline to speed up its preparations, mainly work on the Kiev stadium which is due to host the final and on the stadium in the western city of Lviv near the Polish border.

Kallen said the decision on whether Ukraine would host the tournament in all four cities would be made in coming months.

UEFA’s representative was happy with Warsaw’s preparations but added there were problems with the airports in the three remaining Polish host cities -- Wroclaw, Poznan and Gdansk.

There were also question marks about work at two of the stadiums, he added.

“I can say more about the problems with the stadiums in Poznan and Wroclaw once I visit them,” said Kallen, who is due to visit the cities on Thursday.

Reporting by Patryk Wasilewski; Editing by Ken Ferris