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The Warsaw Voice » Other » March 5, 2008
EURO 2012
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Struggle to Meet UEFA Standards
March 5, 2008   
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Over 60 Polish towns and cities want to provide recreation and training centers for teams that will play in the European championships in five years. But so far no recreation center meets UEFA standards.

"We don't know how many applicants there will be, as we are still accepting applications," says Adam Olkowicz, chairman of the government-appointed UEFA Euro 2012 task force. "We suggested the first 16 venues for training centers back in Cardiff, when Poland and Ukraine's victorious proposal was presented last April. Around Warsaw, these included Wieliszew near Legionowo, a locality of 3,000 residents. The basic facilities of the local D±b sports club comprise one illuminated field. The training centers were the poorest part of our presentation," Olkowicz says.

Current applicants are no better. The Silesian city of Zabrze wants to start preparations by building a new stadium. In Opole, in southern Poland, three locations for a new training and sports center have been selected so far. Next year Bydgoszcz, in the north, will have a zl.70 million modern stadium, built for the junior world track-and-field championships, but the city lacks a hotel of the required standard.

There's good news, too, though. "The distance from the city where matches will be played is unimportant. It can be 20 km, but also 150 km. The teams will probably be arriving the day before their game anyway," Olkowicz says. "I think we will suggest 20-30 centers to UEFA. UEFA's special delegates will visit them before entering them on the official list, and in the fall of 2011 the individual national teams will choose the places they like best."

UEFA's main requirements
Hotels: at least four-star (at least 60 rooms) with a gym, conference rooms and special rooms for medical treatment and massages; the possibility of exclusive booking for the team, or possibly with separate entrances and hallways for the team. Rooms must have hairdryers and ironing boards, among other fittings.

Training centers: at least one top-quality playing field of standard size (105 m x 68 m), no more than a 20-minute drive from the hotel, and two other training fields (including one with an artificial surface) offering the possibility of holding closed training sessions; at least one stand for the public and journalists separated from the field by a fence. The locker room should offer at least 100 sq m of space, with benches and hangers, to accommodate 25 people, toilets, showers and modern infrastructure; the coaching staff's changing room should be at least 24 sq m. Also required is a medical room of 24 sq m and a room for holding press conferences seating at least 100 people.

Marcin Rybak
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