Previous
Atletico Madrid
Malmo FF
ESPN3 6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Olympiakos
Juventus
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Liverpool
Real Madrid
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Ludogorets Razgrad
FC Basel
ESPN3 6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
AS Monaco
Benfica
ESPN3 6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Bayer Leverkusen
Zenit St Petersburg
ESPN3 6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Anderlecht
Arsenal
ESPN3 6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Galatasaray
Borussia Dortmund
ESPN3 6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Next

50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League 1 day ago
Read
By ESPN Staff
Dec 2, 2011

UEFA chief had Ukraine fears

UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino has admitted there were times when he wondered whether Ukraine would prove itself fit to host Euro 2012.

• Euro 2012 draw: LIVE

"We always believed everything would work and you can see the enthusiasm of the people in Poland and Ukraine,'' he said. "But there were some moments when we thought 'ooh la la, how can this work?'.''

The key meeting turned out to be in Bordeaux, just over three years ago, when UEFA emerged to restate their confidence that the tournament could go ahead as planned.

"That was very important,'' said Infantino. "It was crucial to the whole thing. We have had a few hot moments since but we had some tough discussions and have come together to create history.''

It represents a personal triumph for Ukraine Football Federation president Grigoriy Surkis, who staked so much of his reputation on ensuring the pledge made to UEFA when they confirmed hosting rights in 2007.

"To some people it seemed like an unachievable dream,'' said Surkis. "In the old Soviet Union, we had five-year plans. This was one and a half. We had to create an infrastructure, for airport terminals, runways and roads. We had to try and bring European living standards to the Ukraine.

"If we did not deliver, we knew what it would mean in terms of importance, reputation and image,'' he said.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.