|The home of Shakhtar Donetsk is one of the venues for the 2012 European Championships [GALLO/GETTY]
Travelling fans should not let the scarcity and cost of hotel rooms in Ukraine put them off attending matches at the Euro 2012 finals, leading UEFA official David Taylor said on Thursday.
Taylor, UEFA's former general secretary and now the head of its marketing company, praised the enormous strides taken by co-hosts Poland and Ukraine in preparing for the first major soccer championship to take place in eastern Europe, and stressed to fans there were alternatives to avoid being ripped off in Ukraine.
Speaking to reporters at Warsaw's impressive new national stadium where the Championship opens in exactly three months on June 8 when Poland face Greece, Taylor said: "There are issues with Ukrainian hotels - the main ones being the high prices being charged for one, two and three star hotels.
"It is possible to find lower price accomodation if you search but you need to search because some of the prices
available on websites are at the high end of the what they should be.
"The problem of the prices in Ukraine is partly due to the scarcity of the hotels there compared to Poland, the normal
hotel price in Ukraine is two or three times the cost of a hotel in Poland in any event.
"So it is a question of scarcity, but certain hotels are trying to maximise their revenue. This is to be expected but as
we get nearer the start of the tournament they will be wanting to sell their rooms."
He said: "It doesn't help Ukraine in the long run to have people think twice about coming simply because they are put off by the cost of hotel nights.
"At the end of the day UEFA does not set hotel prices but we know that is an issue for some fans."
Taylor and tournament director Martin Kallen were full of praise for both countries who have completed the building of the stadiums well in advance of the start of the tournament, despite widespread sceptisism that they would do so.
Kallen dismissed a suggestion that more-westernised Poland would deliver a slicker, more efficient half of the tournament than Ukraine.
"The Poles have done a great job and the Ukranians have done a great job and Ukraine is expecting a lot of supporters"
Tournament director Martin Kallen
"The Poles have done a great job and the Ukranians have done a great job and Ukraine is expecting a lot of supporters," he said.
"They have invested an enormous amount of money and they are very proud. The final is in Ukraine, and I think everyone wants to be in the final (July 1) at the end in Kiev.
"The infrastructure in Ukraine is good and the security there is safe so it's not a big iussue to travel around. I have done this for four years and I am confident that during the tournament there will be no issues whatsoever in terms of security for supporters.
"It has been a amazing journey for both countries and a difficult journey too. A lot of infrastructure had to be built
and in a very short time, so for the countries it was always a struggle to achieve what was needed but they have fulfilled it."