Poland and Ukraine to host Euro 2012 finals
Poland and Ukraine have been chosen in a shock vote by European football's governing body to jointly host the Euro 2012 championships.sports Updated: Apr 18, 2007 17:02 IST
Poland and Ukraine were chosen in a shock vote by European football's governing body UEFA on Wednesday to jointly host the Euro 2012 championships.
They won the fight to host the quadrennial tournament involving the continent's top nations ahead of Italy and another joint bid from Hungary/Croatia.
Next year's Euro 2008 finals will be joinly held by Austria and Switzerland.
It will be the first time that either Poland or Ukraine have hosted a major football championship.
The decision, announced by new UEFA president Michel Platini, was a huge shock as world champions Italy had been hot favourites, while the Polish/Ukraine bid was the rank outsider.
The Italians had been calling for a fresh start following concerns over the match-fixing scandal that rocked their domestic football last year and the crowd violence that halted all play earlier this year.
The quadrennial tournament was jointly hosted by Belgium and the Netherlands in 2000.
Organisational problems were raised in the cases of Poland/Ukraine and Hungary/Croatia. But UEFA officials pushed these concerns aside and instead grabbed the chance to award the finals to former Eastern Bloc countries for the first time since
Yugoslavia hosted the 1976 finals.
The 2012 finals will once again feature 16 teams despite UEFA examining a proposal to extend it to 24 countries.
Greece are the current European champions having won the title in Lisbon in 2004.