Poland aims to smooth life for fans at Euro 2102

Updated: 05 December 2011 20:59 IST

Euro 2012 co-host Poland on Monday, launched what it billed as a landmark one-stop-shop accommodation and travel service for the hundreds of thousands of fans expected at the showcase football tournament.

Poland aims to smooth life for fans at Euro 2102

Warsaw:

Euro 2012 co-host Poland on Monday, launched what it billed as a landmark one-stop-shop accommodation and travel service for the hundreds of thousands of fans expected at the showcase football tournament.

"I think this is unique," said Marcin Herra, boss of PL.2012, the body supervising Poland's preparations for the European Championship.

"This is one, integrated portal for fans in Europe to check out and plan their visit to Poland," Herra told AFP, ahead of the launch of the website polishguide2012.pl.

"There's practical information, such as how can I get from the airport to the stadium, how much time it takes, where are the hotels, what are the key places, where the fanzone will be. It's a one-stop-shop," he said.

Within the portal -- a smartphone version of which is due to be launched within months -- fans have the option of buying a "Polish Pass" with pick and mix options.

For example, they can pay in advance for public transport between and within Poland's four host cities: the capital Warsaw, Gdansk on the Baltic Sea, Poznan in the west, and Wroclaw in the southwest.

The service also offers the possibility of booking accommodation -- an issue that some observers have seen as the major headache for supporters.

Euro 2008 hosts Switzerland and Austria had planned such a service but did not go ahead with it.

Poland kick off the entire 16-nation tournament against Greece at Warsaw's new National Stadium on June 8, 2012.

Other matches in Group A -- which also involves Russia and the Czech Republic -- will be played in Wroclaw.

Group C involves reigning champions Spain, Italy, the Republic of Ireland and Croatia, who will play in Gdansk and Poznan.

Poland's fellow Euro 2012 organiser, Ukraine, will host Group B, involving the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany and Portugal, and Group D, made up of Ukraine, Sweden, France and England.

Euro 2012 will be the first edition of European football's quadrennial championship to take place behind the former Iron Curtain, and organisers are mindful that the majority of supporters will never have been to the region.

With the scale of a team's support having a wide-ranging impact on accommodation, transport and security, Polish organisers are already trying to second-guess who will make it to the two quarter-finals and one semi-final their country will host.

Topics : Football Alou Diarra Lech Poznan Poland
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