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?