Another post from my desk at the media center of the City of Lviv.
Tomorrow, June 17, Arena Lviv hosts its last match of EURO-2012 when Denmark meets Germany at 21:45 local time. According to the city of Lviv, 18,000 foreign fans will attend the game. Lviv will be very sad to see them go.
“Most of the fans we expect are Germany supporters – almost 12,000. We also expect 4,000 Danish fans and 2,000 Polish fans. What’s more, 7,000 Ukrainian football supporters will watch the match in stadium,” says vice-director of Euro 2012 for Lviv City Council, Oleg Viljura. “I’m sure that many more thousands of people will also visit the Fan Zone, because tomorrow’s game is on a weekend – and it is the last game in Lviv,” he says.
According to Viljura, the experience of the first game June 9 between Germany and Portugal identified some logistical weaknesses that were resolved for the second match. Both the city and the fans benefited from the improvements. “We always believed in ourselves, even when others didn’t. Lviv has proven that we are prepared to host international events on the world stage,” says Viljura. “We are already preparing for the European Basketball Championship tournament in 2015. Furthermore, Lviv intends to bid for the Winter Olympic Games. After our experience hosting these EURO matches, no one can doubt Lviv’s ability to host the Basketball Championship and the Olympics successfully.
Lviv fans turned out 30,000 strong in the Fan Zone to support Ukraine in its game against France Friday night. On a beautiful summer evening, in much better weather than they saw on the screens in Donetsk, supporters showed their emotions with Ukrainian colors on their cheeks, blue and gold hats on their heads, team T-shirts or sirotchke (Ukrainian embroidered shirts) on their backs, and flags on their shoulders and in the air. Chants of support swept through the crowd and continued even after France scored… and scored.
Many boisterous and good-natured fans from the Denmark and Germany have already arrived in Lviv, and even more are expected today and tomorrow to experience the best of Eastern European hospitality one last time.