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EURO 2012 hosts: Ukraine

About the country
Ukraine, or Ukraina as it is called by the native Ukrainians, is one of the two Euro 2012 co-hosts. Covering a staggering surface area of over six hundred thousand square kilometres (three hundred thousand square miles) it is the second biggest country in Europe. Second only to the enormous Russia and nearly double the surface area of the other Euro 2012 co-hosts Poland! With a population of just under fifty million people is the 28th most populous country in the world. The native language is the Ukrainian and second most popular spoken language is Russian. Euro 2012 visitors will be able to speak English if they stay within the touristy places of the country however a English - Ukrainian dictionary is advisable if you are planning on travelling outside such places.

Draw history
The draw for the European Championships 2012 took place in 2007 and the final stage included bids from Italy (who was the favourite to host the championship), a joint bid from Hungary and Croatia and the winning bid from Poland and Ukraine. Neither of the countries have organised a event of this magnitude in the past and the whole world awaits to see what they can deliver. Michel Platini, the then newly appointed UEFA president, praised both countries for their successful nomination and declared the worthy winners. The favourite, Italy, was back then facing problems with match fixing scandals and behind the scenes it thought that it is due to this that they were not awarded the championships themselves.
Football in Ukraine
As with Poland and many other countries around the world, Football in Ukraine is the king of sports, having the lion share amongst all others. However the Ukrainian national team has not been around for many years due to their late separation from the Soviet Union which took place around the beginning of 1990. The first international football competition that the Ukrainian team participated was the FIFA world cup 2006 in Germany where they manage to reach the top eight teams where in the quarterfinals they lost to the - later - winners of the competition, Italy.
Although Ukrainian national football might not have many successes in an international level, the same cannot be said for Ukrainian club football. The top league of the country is called Vyshla Liha which translates to premiere league and some of the most well known teams are Dynamo Kiev and Shakhtar Donetsk. Shakhtar Donetsk is an upcoming club and have won the only competition since Ukraine declared their independence. This was in 2009 when they beat Benfica to claim their first Uefa Cup trophy. Dynamo Kiev have already tasted European success twice by winning the UEFA Cup (formerly known as UEFA Cup Winners Cup) in 1975 and 1986. They have also gone one step further and won the European UEFA Super Cup in 1975.
Host cities:
The Ukrainian cities that will host games for the European Championships 2012 are: Donetsk, Kharkiv, Kyiv, and Lviv.

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