When Spain was given a 100 BILLION Euro bailout a few days ago, you would think that the Prime Minister Mariano Rajay would live less laviously and save money. "We are the number 4 power in Europe, we are not Uganda" he claimed. REALLY ??? However, he ignored all that and took a private jet with his buddies to EURO 2012 in Poznan for Spain against Italy. Along with the team and fans he couldn't sing Hymn Nacional, because nobody has bothered to write any words ! la, la, la ,la.
UEFA President Michel Platini missed out on France v England in Donetsk as he didn't want to be seen to be too supportive of Les Blues so early in the tournament. However in Gdansk he was relaxing in a 500 E a night suite in a luxury hotel. The same room that the Fuhrer Adolf Hitler once stayed in. Rumour was that he ordered Adolf's painting be replaced by one of Napoleon Bonaparte, who also wanted to rule the world.
HOWEVER, I can reveal (the maid told me) that actually he replaced it with a gigantic gold edged mirror, so that he can wear a Napoleonic coat and cocked hat and look at himself regularly and make Napoleonic like poses as he struts around the room.... though he left his white horse in the stables!
We all saw the violence yesterday as 20,000 Russian fans walked to Warsaw's National Stadium on Russian Day, that commemorates their freedom from Soviet communism to that of Vladimir Putin. Minor skermishes earlier in the tournament elsewhere but nothing like the violence of England fans in Marseilles in 1998 and 2000 in Charleroi, Belgium. The huge fan zones have been a great success, which can be supervised and policed and are pretty safe.
My favourite was the one by the lake at Munich's Olympic Park in 2006 and at the Munich Airport in 2008 and at a castle overlooking the German/Austrian border town of Kufstein..Also the entertainment district in Pretoria in 2010 with a choice of shady pubs, cafes, restaurant with a giant screen, live entertainment and lots of singing and chanting with fans from 5 continents. The worste was the one in Hamburg in 2006. Hot, little shade and ovecrowded. We prefered a pub in the Red Light Reeparbahn district instead, with pleasant company.
Also we noticed a few thousand empty seats in Donetsk with only 500 French fans and about 3,500 English ones, both outnumbered by Russians from across the nearby border. Tickets are going for half price and even less on the street for the last group match there, Ukraine v England. 24 E. Most matches have actually been well attended in Poland/Ukraine. At the 1996 event in England, crowds averaged 51,000, yet to be bettered, but that was because England filled Wembley a few times. I went to half a dozen matches at Wembley, Nottingham, Villa Park, Old Trafford and Anfield. I was in Nottingham's City Ground for Croatia v Turkey, which was half empty.
Some great matches so far in the first few days, and the refereeing has been good without any howlers-so far. ENJOY