Kharkiv Gets Thumbs-Up From the Dutch Football Delegation
Kyiv, January 30, 2012. The national Dutch delegation, led by the director of the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) Bert van Oostveen, visited eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv. The representatives of KNVB expressed their admiration for high quality of the sports infrastructure of the Football Club Metallist – major Kharkiv football arena. Special accolades were given to the lawns of the stadium and the training base, which remained perfect despite temperatures as low as -12 degrees Celsius.
The Dutch delegation included the representatives of KNVB, police, Dutch fans, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of the Netherlands in Ukraine. The objective of the visit was to assess the infrastructure of Kharkiv sports venues where the Dutch football team will play against Germany, Portugal and Denmark during EURO 2012.
During the visit the delegates met with the head of the Kharkiv Regional State Administration Mykhailo Dobkin and president of the Kharkiv FC Metallist Alexander Yaroslavsky. They reviewed the preparation for the arrival of the Dutch national Football team and its fans to Kharkiv during the EURO 2012 football championship and the issue of safety both at the stadium and in the city. They also discussed the option of extending the working hours of the fan zone and introducing special precautions on the way from fan zone to the stadium during the scheduled matches of the Dutch team. The matches are expected to be attended by at least 10,000 supporters from the Netherlands and possibly Germany.
It was reported earlier that UEFA expects about 1.6 million football fans to attend the EURO 2012 football championships in Poland and Ukraine. Such turnout is likely to render a positive effect on the economy of both countries, said UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino.
“We estimate that about 1.6 million fans will visit Poland and Ukraine next June, which will give the local economy a substantial short-term boost. But more importantly, the tournament will give Poland and Ukraine the chance to make names for themselves around the world, increasing their appeal as tourist destinations in the medium to long-term, in addition to the tens of thousands of jobs that have been created by UEFA EURO 2012,” said Gianni Infantino. In his opinion, football fans will leave Poland and Ukraine with long-lasting, positive memories and the tournament be remembered for its historical significance.