Poland, Ukraine are Euro 2012 winners too: Press
Alongside Euro 2012 champions Spain, co-hosts Poland and Ukraine have also emerged winners in UEFA's quadrennial championship showpiece event, held for the first time in states once behind the Iron Curtain, Polish media said on Monday.
UEFA boss Michel Platini sang their praises, expressing his "pride" for both countries and their people as "wonderful hosts," chimed Poland's broadsheet Rzeczpospolita. "We've won Euro 2012," enthused centrist daily Gazeta Wyborcza, pointing to the over 22 billion euros ($28 billion) invested largely in upgrading Poland's communist- era road, rail and airport infrastructures, "which helped us through the crisis years."
"New roads will help to attract investors. Our country is developing and will develop more quickly in the future thanks to the championships," Gazeta said, hailing the image boost that has come along with a successful Euro 2012.
"Railways, airports, hotels and restaurants have already tallied their Euro 2012 profits," according to the DPG business daily. "We've proven Poland is a modern, colourful country, full of friendly people," Gazeta added.
"Even Polish hooligans' aggressive behaviour against Russian fans before the Poland-Russia match couldn't destroy this image. These kinds of incidents happen," Gazeta added. More than 180 supporters were detained June 12 after police were forced to use water cannon, tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse violent fans who clashed on the streets of Warsaw ahead of a heated Poland-RussiaEuro 2012 face off.
The threat of racist violence had also loomed large over the championships, after the BBC aired a television documentary showing far-right groups at stadiums making Nazi salutes and monkey noises at black players, as well as an attack on a group of Asian students. Police in Poland confirmed no such incidents over the course of the 24-day tournament.