Euro 2012

Host cities expecting VIP guests

09.04.2012 | By Semen Zaporozhets

Major football tournaments always attract the attention of heads of state and leading politicians from different countries. At times they are guided by their sincere interest in football and often simply seek to win over football fans by showing such interest

EURO 2012 in Ukraine and Poland will be no different in this respect. Many top officials and presidents of European countries will attend the matches at the stadiums in the host cities of the championship. Needless to say, the presidents of both host countries Viktor Yanukovych and Bronislaw Komorowski will attend the opening match at the National Stadium in Warsaw on June 8 and the final match at Olimpiysky Stadium in Kyiv on July 1. Komorowski personally informed Ukraines Premier Mykola Azarov of his plans during their meeting in Warsaw. On the same day, June 8, when the presidents of Poland and Ukraine will be watching the opening match of EURO 2012 between Poland and Greece, it is expected that the second match in Group A between Russia and the Czech Republic will be attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Czech President Vaclav Klaus. As a reminder, the Czech team will play all three matches in Wroclaw against Russia on June 8, Greece June 12 and Poland June 16. Russia will play the other two matches in the group against Greece and Poland in Wroclaw.

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There is a very high probability that both visits will take place. President Klaus said in his conversation with Wroclaw Mayor Rafal Dutkiewicz that he will most likely attend the match between the Czech Republic and Russia, adding that he will likely attend the other two matches in the capital of Lower Silesia, said Pawel Czuma, Spokesman of the Wroclaw City Council.

Meanwhile, information about the possible visit of Putin to Wroclaw is at this point unofficial. There is not much time left before the tournament. The final decision about the visits of officials primarily depends on the development of political events in the Czech Republic and Russia. We expect to receive official confirmation of the visit in May, around two weeks prior to the match, added Czuma. He also stated that Wroclaw security services and stadiums are prepared for the visit of the heads of state of Russia and Czech Republic.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who tries not to miss even a single match of Bundesteam, plans to attend the games of Germany in Kharkiv (against the Netherlands) and in Lviv (against Portugal and Denmark).

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands is planning to attend all three matches of the Netherlands that will take place in Kharkiv. Her Highness wants to personally support her countrys national team in the matches at Metalist Stadium on June 9 against Denmark, June 13 against Germany and June 17 against Portugal.

Another member of the royal family of Denmark will support his national team at EURO 2012 in Ukraine. Crown Prince of Denmark Frederik is planning a private visit to Lviv during EURO 2012. During a recent meeting with representatives of the Football Federation of Denmark, it was announced that based on preliminary plans the visit of Frederik to Ukraine to attend EURO 2012 is planned for June 17, 2012. On this day, Denmark will kick off against Germany at the Arena Lviv. The member of the royal family will be accompanied by General Director of the Danish company Carlsberg Jorgen Buhl Rasmussen. The visit of Crown Prince Frederik will be private. As a reminder, there is a great probability that after EURO 2012 the stadium in Lviv will be named in honor of Carlsberg on a commercial basis.

Most likely, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen will also be cheering for Denmark. Ukraines Foreign Minister Kostyantyn Hryshchenko sent a corresponding invitation to Danish politicians. During a meeting in the corridors of the Brussels Forum, the Ukrainian minister and the NATO secretary general discussed cooperation during the major football event of the year. We thanked the secretary general for cooperation with NATO in ensuring security at EURO 2012. In reciprocation I invited Mr. Fogh Rasmussen to find out how what results such interaction will give in the final stage of the championship, commented Hryshchenko.

Noteworthy, all presidents of independent Ukraine attended the matches of the national football team in the past. Leonid Kravchuk and Viktor Yanukovych are ardent fans, while Leonid Kuchma and Viktor Yushchenko showed up at the stadium as a symbol of status.

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