Has the global financial crisis crossed yet another threshold with indications that the financing of the Euro 2012 Championship could be imperilled?Â The successful joint bid of Poland and Ukraine looked on one hand like a smart move to recognize the eastern European fan bases but on the other like a gamble givenÂ all the costs that the tournament brings, not least in stadium upgrades.Â Â And with money tight for everything, money for football was perhaps going to be a tough sell.Â Â Hence this interesting Polish courtship of Kuwait —
KUWAIT, March 3 (KUNA) — Poland has 25 billion euro to invest in preparation for co-hosting the Euro 2012 Football Championship, and it is in search for “true partners” to implement these projects, said Polish Minister of Sports and Tourism Miroslaw Drzewiecki on Tuesday.
In an interview with KUNA on the sidelines of his visit, the minister said, “We (Poland) are not looking for funds, but for true partners with whom to implement specific infrastructure development projects in major Polish cities in preparation for hosting the Euro 2012 Football Championship.” As to the aim of his visit [to Kuwait], he said that it was to boost tourism exchange between the two countries, but “most importantly” to assist in preparations for hosting the championship in 2012 alongside the Ukraine, for which 25 billion euro had been allocated on the Polish side.
The fact that the Gulf has a huge pool of wealth has already figured in bankingÂ capital infusionsÂ (e.g. Barclays) and boosting the IMF’s lending capacity (there’s a long forgotten Gordon Brown proposal for the Saudis to help with this), but enlisting Kuwait or other Gulf countries as partners in the preparations for Euro 2012 would be a new step in engagement with them.Â Â At the minimum, it indicates that the Poles are taking a medium-term look at their fiscal commitments and not liking what they see, given the economic context.