UEFA Being Urged To Investigate Corruption Claims In Ukraine
UEFA is under pressure to investigate claims of massive corruption during Ukraine's preparations for Euro 2012, amid allegations that as much as $4B in state funds allocated for the tournament was stolen by officials, according to Harding & Leigh of the London GUARDIAN. European Parliament's Green faction leader Rebecca Harms said that "UEFA had to investigate why Ukraine cancelled competitive tenders for all Euro 2012 projects in '10." Instead, contracts for roads, stadiums, and other infrastructure projects went to a "handful of shadowy companies, including one based offshore in Belize." Politicians from the opposition claim the companies belong, "directly or indirectly," to government officials. The Ukrainian government denies these allegations. The total cost of the Euro has been in dispute. Deputy PM Borys Kolesnikov said that the "government spent $5B, including $800M on stadiums." However, others have said that the real number including "related projects and state guarantees is $10B." Ukrainian taxpayers paid $585M for the reconstruction and development of the Olympic Stadium. Kyiv Post reporter Mark Rachkevych, who has investigated Euro 2012 corruption, said that "the bill was bigger than for other similar-capacity European stadiums." He added: "The Warsaw stadium was $35M cheaper. But it has a huge business centre attached." Moreover, the Allianz Arena in Munich also cost less, "despite the fact that Ukraine has cheaper labour costs than Germany" (GUARDIAN, 6/20).