The Ukrainian organisers of Euro 2012 insist there is ample accommodation on offer for England fans in Donetsk, the city where Fabio Capello's side will play two of their three group games, although they admit that there is a shortage of hotel rooms.
There are fears among supporters' groups that following England in the finals, where they will play France, Sweden and the host nation, may be beyond many fans due to price and the scarcity of places to stay in Donetsk. The Football Association receive an allocation of around 8,000 tickets for each of the group games, although in previous tournaments it has been usual for a far greater number of England fans to make the trip. Prices of £600 for a flying visit (in and out on matchday) have been common, while with accommodation the packages can quickly rise into four figures.
But Borys Kolesnikov, vice prime minister of Ukraine and the man in charge of the tournament, has told The Independent that there is still reasonably priced accommodation available, even if some of it is basic. Kolesnikov also said that it is possible to fly in and out of the country for each game if supporters are not happy with the hotel rooms on offer for a similar price to what they would pay to stay in Ukraine.
He said: "Donetsk is an industrial centre. It's impossible to have such a quantity of hotels like you have in London. We don't have the quantity of hotels we would like to have. There is enough student accommodation. We would like [England fans] to stay in the country, but if they cannot book the places it wouldn't be a tragedy – it would be possible to fly directly during the match days. We have four new airports."
The organisers say there are 5,000 rooms available in one- to three-star hotels, "health resorts and dormitories" priced at between €10 and €192. There are also 11,000 "rooms" in two campsites set up for the tournament, respectively 10km and 6km from the stadium.
Uefa struggled to secure the 6,000 rooms it requires in the Donetsk area, having to range as far as 250km away, while Europe's governing body has expressed concerns over the country's readiness for Euro 2012, which it is co-hosting with Poland. "I am confident," said Kolesnikov. "We are almost ready but it will be impossible to say at the moment if things will work."
There has been surprise in Ukraine over England establishing their tournament base in Krakow despite playing in Ukraine. Kolesnikov said: "What kind of sense is there to fly over 2,000km when all the other members of the group are staying in Ukraine?"Reuse content