A Frenchman Discovers Ukraine

One would think that if you are going to award a major sports tournament to a particular country, you would at least take the trouble to see what the place is like first.

Unless you’re UEFA, that is:

The president of Uefa has hit out at “bandits and crooks” for the escalation of Ukrainian hotel prices ahead of the Euro 2012 football championships.

Bandits and crooks in Ukraine?  No!!

Speaking in Lviv, one of the venues, Michel Platini said the rising cost of accommodation worried him, and called on the authorities to prevent it.

Call on the Ukrainian authorities to prevent private businesses increasing their prices?  Sorry, didn’t the Soviet Union end a couple of decades ago?

He added that some hotels were not respecting room contracts which had already been agreed.

Contracts not being respected in Ukraine?  No!!

“You can’t change (the price of a room) from 40 euros (£33; $52) to 100 and then up to 500 just like that, from one day to the other, this just is not done,” he said.

Well, yes you can and yes it is.  All the time.  Clearly monsieur Platini has never tracked hotel room prices in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk before and after an oil and gas conference.  Even those who were already staying in the hotels were being hoofed out to make room for better-paying guests.  This is standard practice all over the former Soviet Union.  Where does Platini think he is?  Paris?  (Where, incidentally, the price of a hotel room is such that you’d think a major football tournament was there permanently.)  How dim have you got to be think this wouldn’t happen?

Mr Platini is due to open a new airport terminal in the city later with President Viktor Yanukovych.

An event at which there will of course be no crooks and bandits, oh no!  He’ll probably find half the hotel owners are in the president’s entourage.

M. Platini’s not quite figured Ukraine out yet, has he?


8 thoughts on “A Frenchman Discovers Ukraine

  1. Finally! a word from the wise. Where have you been, hiding in Africa? erm….oops.

    Having lived in the glorious City of Lions (no, not the Singapore) for memorable 8 years (long, long time ago), I …laughed and laughed.

  2. of course, what Platini is realy saying is that they are not bribing him enough…a UEFA official having to pay for a hotel room! That is scandalous!

  3. Well, I suppose M Platini could use his experiences wtih UEFA in Ukraine to recruit some hangers-on for FIFA, who are well known internationally for their particular ethical and moral stance with regards to corruption. I’m sure some of the biznismeny of Donetsk, especially, would be right at home in the company of FIFA

  4. EUFA officials all visited Kiev when Ukraine was bidding for the tournament. Kiev is a big city, a reasonable number of modern hotels, some semblance of modernity, and you can junket people there with the semblance that you are in a vaguely modern country. Presumably the officials went “Hmmm. These are nice prostitutes”, and awarded them the tournament. People lower down the UEFA hierarchy then went and visited the other venues (Lviv, Donetsk, Kharkiv) and realised that this was a potential disaster, and instituted a contingency plan reducing the number of Ukrainian venues to one (Kiev) and playing the rest of the tournament in Poland. However, doing this would be a huge loss of face to people like Platini, so the tournament is still about 50-50 between the two countries. It is only now, a couple of months before the tournament, that Platini has discovered that Ukraine is run by gangsters and has totally inadequate facilities for such a tournament. It’s really quite amusing.

    We still have the Sochi Winter Olympics to come (as Helen Szamuely put it, there is some peculiar genius in giving the Winter Olympics to one of the few places in Russia that does not get any snow) and the 2018 World Cup to come. I am preparing for much more amusement as UEFA, FIFA, and IOC officials discover that Russian gangsters refuse to defer to them.

    (I have said it elsewhere, but FIFA’s big screwup was not giving the 2022 Cup to Qatar – idiotic as that was – but was giving the 2018 Cup to Russia).

  5. Would you please save the last sentence of future posts and feed it out a few words each week so your loving followers will know you are still extant?
    Regards, Van

  6. > M. Platini’s not quite figured Ukraine out yet, has he?

    Oh, that famous French naivete’. No way Michel would be knowingly helping out those in the entourage with taking over that other half.

  7. Is it stupider to play the Euro football competition in Ukraine or to hold the Olympics in London?

    2012: the Year of the Looies.

Comments are closed.