Source Pravda.Ru

Much preparation required to host European football championship, says Putin

Much preparation is required to host the European football championship, believes Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"The European championship is an important event, but we are poorly ready [for it]," he said yesterday, when commenting on the call of Grigory Surkis, honorary president of the Dinamo Kiev football club, for Russia and Ukraine to unite in a tender for hosting Euro 2012.

"With the football boom Russia is witnessing today, I think we can make it," Surkis had said.

Putin was rather harsh about Surkis's words that Ukraine had hoped to host the championship together with Poland, which, however, said it was not ready. "I feel we will be left alone," Surkis lamented.

The Russian President, in his turn, said, "We are friends with the President of Poland, and we love Poland, but Russia will not be a substitute for Poland or any other country. What you said was 'if Poland does not agree, let Russia do it'. If you want to cooperate with Russia, you should make us a proposal, which we will consider and give, most probably, an affirmative answer".

"To be well prepared it would be right to hold joint soccer and hockey championships [of Russia and Ukraine]," the Russian leader believes. "It would be interesting and would promote sports both in Russia and Ukraine," he said.