UEFA Draw for Euro 2012 Tickets; Worries Persist Over Kiev Olympic Stadium
UEFA started the draw to allocate tickets for the massively oversubscribed Euro 2012 tournament in Poland and Ukraine.
UEFA told INSIDER that 45% of the 1.4 million tickets - or 630,000 - that will be distributed to football fans will be decided in the lotteries taking place over the next three days.
The successful applicants will be notified via email by the end of April.
More than 12 million requests were made for finals tickets in the March application window, a record for the UEFA European Football Championships.
Applications came from 206 countries worldwide. Nearly 88% of the overall requests originated from football fans in the co-host nations.
Meanwhile, worries persist over Poland and Ukraine's preparations for Euro 2012.
The renovation cost of Kiev's Olympic stadium - venue for the final and one of eight host stadiums - continues to rise, while UEFA is also concerned about the pace of construction.
The Ukrainian government passed a resolution to release extra funds for the project.
The stadium revamp is now estimated at about $576 million - more than double the original sum, according to a National Radio Company of Ukraine report.
For now, the first match to be played at the 69,000-seat stadium, involving Dynamo Kiev in a Europa League or Champions League match, remains set for the autumn. But with every month that passes, this opening date appears to be an increasingly unrealistic target.
UEFA president Michel Platini said a few weeks ago that he remained confident Poland and Ukraine will deliver on their promises to stage a successful Euro 2012 tournament, despite the venue and infrastructure challenges they face.
Speaking at the UEFA Congress in Paris, he said: "With Ukraine we have had some problems but our obligation is to help them to make sure we have a successful tournament."
A UEFA spokeswoman told INSIDER on Tuesday that there was no official Euro 2012 stadia inspection tour planned before June 8, the year-to-go milestone to the tournament.
A major promotional ceremony is being held in Warsaw to mark the milestone. The other seven host cities are staging smaller events.
By Mark Bisson