Euro 2012 Diary: Stadium goes underground
Monday 18 June 2012
Stadium planners in the United Arab Emirates will hope to avoid disruptions such as those which held up France's game with Ukraine on Friday after unveiling plans to build a "sand stadium" in the desert.
Incessant rain, thunder and lightning interrupted France's 2-0 victory in Donetsk for an hour last Friday, frustrating supporters in Kiev, while England's game against Sweden was delayed as a result.
Plans are afoot in the Al Ain desert for a 40,000-seater arena, with the ground set to be named the The Rock Stadium. It will cost a hefty 3.5 billion dirham to build and will be constructed below ground level to enable heat levels to be more easily controlled.
Organisers at the UAE have offered to help Qatar in their hosting of the 2022 World Cup – although this may not be what they had in mind...
Time to Czech the facts
Followers of the Czech Republic will be delighted that their side has advanced to the last eight as winners of Group A, but their standing will have left some observers slightly perplexed. The team of Michal Bílek managed to progress with the meagre goal difference of -1. That deficit began with their first match, when they were thrashed 4-1 at the hands of Russia. But don't start belittling them; they have European Championship pedigree. They reached the semi-finals in 2004, falling to eventual champions Greece only after extra-time, and finishing as runner-up in 1996, beaten by Germany, 2-1, again after extra-time.
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