Football: Euro 2000's worries about traffic jams

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TRAFFIC JAMS are the main problem facing the Euro 2000 championship in Belgium and the Netherlands, Alain Courtois, the tournament director, said yesterday.

"Everybody's talking about security and tickets, but what's keeping me busy more is the mobility problem," Courtois told Het Nieuwsblad newspaper.

"How are people going to reach and leave the stadium? How do we make sure that it isn't a nuisance for people? We need good public transport between both countries to avoid traffic jams. This will be the [main] problem of Euro 2000." he said.

Courtois dismissed reports that construction works in Euro 2000 stadiums were behind schedule. Preparations for the finals have recently been attacked in the Dutch and Belgian media. The governing body of European football, Uefa, denied a report it had threatened to take the finals away from the Belgian and Dutch co-hosts.

"I'm regularly in contact with Uefa. Never did I hear any criticism or warnings," Courtois said. He added that a number of areas - including security and ticket distribution - had not yet been finalised. The plans will be announced at a news conference in Rotterdam on 27 October.