Tag Archives: stations

Xavi ruled out of

Beaten Barca will be without El Clasico veteran Xavi for Bernabeau clash, as Madrid look for second win in five days

By
Gerard Brand

PUBLISHED:

13:36 GMT, 1 March 2013

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UPDATED:

13:38 GMT, 1 March 2013

Barcelona's fears of a second El Clasico
defeat in five days were made worse today after discovering influential
midfielder Xavi has been ruled out of tomorrow's match with a hamstring
injury.

The Spaniard, who has played in 37 Clasico's, the highest of all current players, risked his niggling injury by appearing in Tuesday's 3-1 Copa Del Rey semi-final defeat to Real at the Nou Camp.

Caught out: Xavi risked the hamstring injury by playing in Tuesday's El Classico, and now finds himself on the sidelines for the La Liga clash

Caught out: Xavi risked the hamstring injury by playing in Tuesday's El Classico, and now finds himself on the sidelines for the La Liga clash

Influence: Xavi has played 36 times this season, scoring six goals

Influence: Xavi has played 36 times this season, scoring six goals

The 33-year-old first discovered a small tear after leaving the pitch against Valencia on February 2, but was rested before playing with no apparent trouble in San Siro for the Champions League last-16 first leg against AC Milan last week.

But Xavi suffered another small tear in a training session on Sunday, and despite playing on Tuesday has been officially ruled out of the clash at the Bernabau.

He will now have a week to recover before Barcelona's next match with Deportivo in eight days, and will hope to be involved when the four-time champions of Europe look to overcome a 2-0 last-16 first leg deficit against Milan.

Barcelona hold a staggering 16-point gap over Madrid in third place, while Atletico Madrid trail the Catalan giants by 12 points.

The game will be played at 3pm on Saturday, meaning British television stations will not be able to televise the game due to Saturday football blackout rules.

Tube strike threatens to cause Boxing Day chaos for football fans

Arsenal clash with West Ham threatened after Tube drivers announce Boxing Day strike

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UPDATED:

16:51 GMT, 17 December 2012

Arsenal are set to postpone their Boxing Day clash with West Ham until the new year after the proposed London Underground strike was confirmed by the Aslef union.

The club will not officially call off the encounter until the industrial action by Tube drivers is ratified by authorities but it appears likely it will be 2013 before Sam Allardyce brings his team to the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal's 60,000-seater ground is five minutes' walk from Holloway Road station in north London, with Highbury and Islington and Finsbury Park also close by. Many fans use the service to get to games so a suspension would cause chaos if the match went ahead.

Under threat: The Gunners clash with West Ham might be rescheduled

Under threat: The Gunners clash with West Ham might be rescheduled

Boxing Day games under threat

Barclays Premier League

Arsenal v West Ham

Fulham v Southampton

nPower Championship

Charlton v Ipswich

nPower League One

Leyton Orient v Swindon

nPower League Two

Dagenham and Redbridge v Southend

A strike by Tube drivers last year
forced Arsenal to delay their Boxing Day match with Wolves by 24 hours
but they cannot do the same this year as they have a game against
Newcastle on December 29. Twelve months ago the club cited the 'duty of
care' they had to both sets of supporters and staff.

A midweek evening in January seems the likeliest date for re-staging but neighbours Tottenham Hotspur and the FA Cup are also factors to be considered.

QPR's match with West Brom will kick off at 3pm as planned after the club held a meeting this afternoon to discuss the matter.

Loftus Road is close to three Tube stations and fans are often reliant on the service but a statement on Ranger's website read: 'Supporters are advised to allow extra time for their journeys to and from Loftus Road.

'Buses will be running on the usual Sunday/Bank Holiday service on the day of the fixture, whilst parking in the borough will be free.

Christmas cheer Arsenal are facing a tricky festive period

Christmas cheer Arsenal are facing a tricky festive period

'Supporters who are unable to attend the fixture owing to the Tube strikes will be entitled to a full refund.'

Fulham will wait for official confirmation of the Tube strike before deciding if any action needs to be taken over their Boxing Day match with Southampton at Craven Cottage.

A club spokesman said: 'We are monitoring situation and putting contingency in place but remain fully committed to the game going ahead as scheduled.'

Fulham play Swansea three days later.

Charlton are the only Championship side hosting a Boxing Day fixture in the capital but it is understood their match with Ipswich should not be too badly disrupted and will go ahead. Most home fans travel in from Kent rather than central London.

Derailed: Fans will have find it difficult to get across the capital

Derailed: Fans will have find it difficult to get across the capital

The announcement by Aslef means
London Underground drivers are on course to walk out on Boxing Day, as
well as January 18 and 25 in a row over bank holiday pay. It will be the
third successive Christmas walkout by Tube drivers.

The
move was announced after Aslef members voted by 9-1 in favour of
strikes. A spokesman said: 'The ballot result shows the strength of
feeling that remains on this issue.'

US OPEN 2012: Ivan Dodig relishing Andy Murray chance

From rags to riches: Dodig relishing chance to take on Murray at Flushing Meadows

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UPDATED:

07:30 GMT, 29 August 2012

However Ivan Dodig fares against Andy Murray in their second round match at the US Open on Wednesday night, one thing the Croatian will not lack is desire.

Climbing up the ladder in tennis is almost never a straightforward process, but some players have it easier than others and Dodig was definitely one of the others.

When the 27-year-old was playing in Futures and Challengers tournaments, he was living from hand to mouth to such an extent that he sometimes slept in bus stations or airports and even once, reportedly, under a bridge.

Rags to riches: Dodig slept rough on the Futures tour

Rags to riches: Dodig slept rough on the Futures tour

Dodig said in an interview earlier this year: 'I had some financial situations after the war (in the former Yugoslavia) but unfortunately I did not get any support. I was fighting in some Futures to earn some money.

'It was very hard for me because I knew that if I lost there was a small chance that I could go to the next tournament. If I won some matches, I would have a chance to play more tournaments.

'Sometimes it was good, sometimes not so good. I was taking care of every euro. I had many tough situations in tournaments having to play without money and many times without anywhere to sleep.'

But he persevered and things are different for Dodig now, although he is far from one of the sport's big earners. Last year he won his first ATP Tour event in Zagreb and his current ranking of 118 is largely down to struggles with a back problem.

In the way: World No 4 Andy Murray

In the way: World No 4 Andy Murray

Indeed, Dodig is no stranger to big upsets having beaten Rafael Nadal last year, while he also has wins over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Robin Soderling to his name.

The match will be played under the lights on Arthur Ashe Stadium and Dodig will certainly not be fazed.

He said: 'For me it's great. I will be really, really happy to play on a big court. I have some experience with some other guys, but with him it's the first time for me.

'He is a top player. With these guys it's very tough. You have to play over your limit. We are all human beings, but he has the chance on the court.'

In the final match of the day session, Laura Robson will play her first match on Arthur Ashe against three-time champion Kim Clijsters.

Showdown: Robson takes on Kim Clijsters on Wednesday night

Showdown: Robson takes on Kim Clijsters on Wednesday night

If the British teenager wins, it will be Clijsters' final singles match in professional tennis, with the Belgian due to retire after this tournament.

British No 5 Johanna Konta joined Murray and Robson in the second round on Tuesday after posting her first victory in the main draw of a grand slam against Timea Babos.

The 21-year-old, who came through qualifying, will meet Belarus' Olga Govortsova in the second round on Thursday.

Caroline Wozniacki was the big casualty on Tuesday, the eighth seed hampered by a knee injury in losing 6-2 6-2 to Romania's Irina Camelia Begu, while world No 1 Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova are in second-round action on Wednesday.

Hibs to say no in Rangers SPL vote

Rangers set to be denied entry to SPL after Hibs confirm plan to vote no

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UPDATED:

22:33 GMT, 24 June 2012

Hibernian have become the latest club to confirm they will vote against newco Rangers' application for entry to the Scottish Premier League.

The Edinburgh side cited sporting integrity as the driving factor behind the decision, which was reached at a board meeting on Sunday night, despite the financial implications for the club.

Hibs join city rivals Hearts and Dundee United in going public with their plans to reject the Rangers bid.

Exit stations: Rangers look set to be denied re-entry into the SPL

Exit stations: Rangers look set to be denied re-entry into the SPL

Motherwell will ballot fans on June 29, while others have yet to make a decision.

The 12 top-flight clubs – including oldco Rangers – will cast their votes at an SPL general meeting on July 4.

A statement from Hibs read: 'Following a meeting of its board of directors, Hibernian FC confirmed that the club will vote against the transfer of the Rangers share in the SPL to a newco at the general meeting of SPL clubs on 4 July 2012.

'This re-affirms the view of the board that the sporting integrity of the SPL is of paramount importance.

Out: Steven Whittaker and Steven Naismith (left) have quit the club

Out: Steven Whittaker and Steven Naismith (left) have quit the club

'The board is also acutely aware that in making this decision, Hibernian – like other clubs in the SPL – will suffer collateral financial damage at a time of severe economic hardship and uncertainty.

'The board believes it is time for all fair-minded supporters to get behind their clubs and to contribute in whatever way they can to the viability of the professional game in Scotland.'

Ibrox duo Steven Naismith and Steven Whittaker earlier said uncertainty over which division Rangers will play in next season was one of the main reasons for their decision to object to the transfer of their contracts to the newco, with the pair now seeking moves elsewhere.

Wasps owner Steve Hayes bailed in computer-hacking probe

Wasps and Wycombe owner Hayes bailed in computer-hacking probe

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UPDATED:

12:46 GMT, 5 April 2012

Bailed: Wasps owner Steve Hayes

Bailed: Wasps owner Steve Hayes

The millionaire owner of Wasps is a suspect in Scotland Yard's computer-hacking probe.

Steve Hayes remains on bail after being arrested in February in Hertfordshire by detectives from Operation Tuleta, an offshoot of the force's Weeting investigation into illegal activities at News International.

The investigation into Mr Hayes, 50, is not linked to any news organisation or the activities of journalists, sources said.

Mr Hayes, who also owns Wycombe Wanderers football club, bought the Aviva Premiership rugby club in 2008. Last October, he announced plans to put Wasps up for sale.

The businessman, who made millions of pounds selling an internet loans business, was detained on suspicion of offences under the Computer Misuse Act.

A Wasps spokeswoman later confirmed the arrest.

'We will not be further commenting for now,' she added.

There have been 46 arrests surrounding inquiries into hacking and corruption under Weeting, Elveden and Tuleta.

Widespread: Scotland Yard are conducting an investigation into illegal activities at News International

Widespread: Scotland Yard are conducting an investigation into illegal activities at News International

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: 'On 24 February 2012, officers from Operation Tuleta arrested a man at his home in Hertfordshire, and a man at an address in Surrey, on suspicion of offences under the Computer Misuse Act 1990 and the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) 2000.

'These arrests are not directly linked to any news organisation or the activities of journalists.

'They were taken to London police stations and later bailed to return in June and July 2012 pending further enquiries.'

Mario Balotelli is a modern day rock star, says Noel Gallagher

My favourite Balotelli story: City fan Noel Gallagher reveals striker's tale that made him laugh the most

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UPDATED:

13:08 GMT, 9 March 2012

Manchester City fan Noel Gallagher hailed striker Mario Balotelli a ‘modern day rock-star’ for his antics on and off the pitch.

The singer and former Oasis songwriter has put on record his admiration for the Italian and had the chance to sit down with the striker to find out the truth about a number of myths that surround the 21-year-old.

Gallagher quizzed Balotelli for an interview for the BBC’s Football Focus programme to shown on Saturday and asked him on all the rumours about him.

Rock 'n' Roll stars: Noel Gallagher with City striker Mario Balotelli

Rock 'n' Roll stars: Noel Gallagher with City striker Mario Balotelli

During his brief spell at City, Balotelli is said to have driven to a petrol station and paid for everyone’s fuel, given 1,000 to a homeless person and helped a young fan who was being bullied at school, among other things.

All things Gallagher wanted to get to the bottom during of these stories during the interview.

‘I asked him about the rumours, we listed them all. Unfortunately 90 per cent of them are b*******, but there’s a grain of truth in them all,’ Gallagher told the Independent.

In the goals: Balotelli returned from suspension to score against Bolton

In the goals: Balotelli returned from suspension to score against Bolton

‘I told him he was killing me, because we want them all to be true. We want a footballer to be going around giving 1,000 to a homeless person, because it’s just cool.

‘We don’t want professional footballers to be like Michael Owen or Ashley Cole, people that think the world owes them something.

In conversation: Gallagher and Balotelli speaking on Football Focus

In conversation: Gallagher and Balotelli speaking on Football Focus

‘We want to believe that this kid goes into petrol stations and buys everyone a full tank of petrol. Not because that’s what they should do, but because footballers are young and they should behave young.’

Gallagher, who is now fronting his solo project The High Flying Birds, has been dedicating a song to Balotelli every night on his tour and says the reception has been phenomenal.

Fan's favourite: Balotelli has earned himself cult status at Manchester City

Fan's favourite: Balotelli has earned himself cult status at Manchester City

Making his point: Balotelli shows off his t-shirt after his goal in the Manchester derby

Making his point: Balotelli shows off his t-shirt after his goal in the Manchester derby

And while not all the rumours may all have been true, the fact that the Italian has a magic touch most certainly is.

He added: ‘I’ve been on tour and I’ve been dedicating a song ‘What a Life’ to him every night.

‘It’s amazing the reaction that it gets, all around the world. People love him. It starts off with booing because he’s a City player, but it turns into cheers because he’s a modern day rock-star.

‘And he’d heard of this and he said if he was going to do an interview he’d only do it with me. So they asked me to do it, and I cleared my schedule. Too right, I’ll do that for a laugh.'

Gallagher, who was recently presented with NME's Godlike Genius Award, added: ‘My favourite Balotelli story is the magic tricks. One day he was wandering through the Trafford Centre minding his own business, as if he could do, like a modern-day Mr T.

What a life: Gallagher has been dedicating a song to Balotelli on his recent UK and European tour

What a life: Gallagher has been dedicating a song to Balotelli on his recent UK and European tour

‘And there’s a guy doing magic, and he asked if he could teach him some magic. The guy said, “No, I don’t teach magic.”

‘So Mario went home, pondered it, and thought, “I’m not having that”, so he went back to the Trafford Centre and said to the bloke, “teach me these magic tricks”.

'The guy said, “No, there’s too many people here.” So Mario took him in his car, back to his house for dinner, and the guy showed him magic over dinner. That’s where he learnt the tricks.’

Mick McCarthy not to blame for Wovles plight – Roger Johnson

Blame us, not Mick! Wolves captain Johnson takes responsibility for sacking

Skipper Roger Johnson insists the Wolves players and not sacked manager Mick McCarthy are to blame for the club's current plight.

McCarthy was dismissed after Wolves slipped into the bottom three of the Barclays Premier League following Sunday's 5-1 home defeat by West Brom.

However, when asked how much blame the players should take for Wolves' plight, Johnson told Sky Sports News: 'All of it. The manager can maybe take five to 10 per cent.

Exit stations: Mick McCarthy was sacked by Wolves on Monday

Exit stations: Mick McCarthy was sacked by Wolves on Monday

'The rest of it is down to the lads. We have let Mick down, the club down and ourselves down.

Johnson, who was relegated with Birmingham last season before being signed by McCarthy in the summer and immediately being handed the captain's armband, believes Wolves have sufficient time to retrieve the current situation.

He said: 'Thankfully we have got enough games to get enough points to get out out of trouble.

'We probably need six wins from 13 games and we have a good enough team to do that.'

Club owner Steve Morgan is due back from a family holiday on Wednesday to step up the process of finding a replacement.

Our fault: Roger Johnson insists the players are to blame for McCarthy's sacking

Our fault: Roger Johnson insists the players are to blame for McCarthy's sacking

Morgan and chief executive Jez Moxey are hoping to bring in McCarthy's successor before Wolves are next in action at Newcastle in 11 days time.

Former Charlton and West Ham boss Alan Curbishley continues to be the bookmakers' favourite after indicating he would be willing to talk to Morgan.

Former Sunderland manager Steve Bruce and ex QPR boss Neil Warnock are also understood to be interested should Morgan get in touch.

But, if Wolves decide on an interim appointment until the end of the season, then Birmingham boss Chris Hughton could become a contender after reviving fortunes at St. Andrew's following relegation.

In the frame: Steve Bruce could replace McCarthy at Wolves

In the frame: Steve Bruce could replace McCarthy at Wolves

Moxey is adamant that Wolves had not started to look elsewhere for a potential manager until after McCarthy was informed of his fate at a training ground meeting on Monday.

He said: 'I like to think that we are football professionals, so we understand what is happening in the market place, that we understand who is and who isn't around.

'It's part of our job. It's like a manager who has to scout players. But there wasn't any plot in the background.

'At no point was any phone call made by anybody at Wolverhampton Wanderers to any potential manager prior to the point of us telling Mick McCarthy, the players and the staff of the situation.

'That's when the calls started.'

Muhammad Ali at 70: Most memorable quotes

'Float like a butterfly sting like a bee': Ali's most memorable quotes

As Muhammad Ali celebrates his 70th birthday on Tuesday, Sportsmail recalls some of the Louisville Lip's more memorable quotes.

I am the greatest! Ali was never shy in front of the cameras, in or out of the ring

I am the greatest! Ali was never shy in front of the cameras, in or out of the ring

'…now Clay swings with a right, what a beautiful swing
And raises the bear straight out of the ring;
Liston is rising and the ref wears a frown
For he can't start counting 'til Liston comes down;
Now Liston disappears from view, the crowd is getting frantic
But our radar stations have picked him up somewhere over the Atlantic;
Who would have thought when they came to the fight
That they'd witness the launching of a human satellite
Yes the crowd did not dream when they laid down their money
That they would see a total eclipse of the Sonny.'

(before first Sonny Liston fight, 1964)

'Cassius Clay is a slave name. I didn't choose it and I don't want it. I am Muhammad Ali, a free name – it means beloved of God, and I insist people use it when people speak to me and of me.'

(announcing his conversion to the Muslim faith after first Liston fight)

Cries of joy: Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay at the time) beat Sonny Liston

Cries of joy: Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay at the time) beat Sonny Liston

'Get up sucker and fight. Get up and fight.'

(during second Liston fight, 1965)

'What's my name, fool What's my name'

(during Ernie Terrell fight, 1967 – Terrell had refused to recognise his name change)

'I ain't got no quarrel with them Vietcong.'

(on refusing induction into the US armed services in 1967 during the Vietnam war)

'I'm so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and got into bed before the room was dark.'

(before George Foreman fight, 1974)

'Float like a butterfly sting like a bee – his hands can't hit what his eyes can't see.'

(before Foreman fight, 1974)

Rumble in the Jungle: George Foreman is knocked out by Muhammed Ali

Rumble in the Jungle: George Foreman is knocked out by Muhammed Ali

'I done wrestled with an alligator, I done tussled with a whale;
and cuffed lightning, thrown thunder in jail;
Only last week, I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalised a brick;
I'm so mean I make medicine sick.'

(before Foreman fight, 1974)

'That all you got, George That all you got'

(during Foreman fight, 1974)

'It will be a killer and a chiller and a thriller when I get the gorilla in Manila.'

(before third Joe Frazier fight, 1975)

Arsene Wenger rages at rivals" "influence" on TV scheduling

Out of control! Furious Wenger rages at rivals' 'influence' on television games

Arsene Wenger has sensationally accused rival Barclays Premier League clubs of influencing television stations to doctor the fixture list.

The Arsenal manager insisted it was wrong that some sides can lean on broadcasters to arrange televised matches to suit themselves.

Wenger believes the current system, whereby television channels take their pick from a match list organised by the Premier League, provides an unfair advantage to some clubs, who can enjoy more recovery time between games.

Claim: Arsene Wenger said TV scheduling has an impact on results

Claim: Arsene Wenger said TV scheduling has an impact on results

The Frenchman said: 'I believe the
Premier League have to make sure there's a bit more fairness in the
schedules. I don't believe the Premier League have played, in the last
months or the last year, a very fair role in the distribution of the
fixtures. They are sold to television and television is influenced by
some clubs to choose the fixtures. And some clubs get advantaged by
television, if it's Sky or ESPN, because they have an influence from the
clubs directly.

Controversial: TV has captured some of football's best, and worst, moments

Controversial: TV has captured some of football's best, and worst, moments

'If the Premier League don't
decide, it is the television that decides. That means television can be
influenced and the Premier League have nothing to say. That's what I
think is not right.

'If, tomorrow, you buy a club and
your best friend is the owner of Sky TV you don't think you will tell
him, “Look, you put us on Friday night. That's not fair.”

'Or, “You put us on Sunday night, that's not fair.” Temptation Of course it is.

Clash: Arsenal face Swansea in the Premier League on Sunday

Clash: Arsenal face Swansea in the Premier League on Sunday

'I do not want to go personally on any one club, but if things are repeated then it's not a coincidence any more.

'I'm not the only manager who thinks that. There's a real problem there.'

Wenger, who did not name specific
clubs who seek to secure an advantage, also accused the Premier League
of lacking control over their fixtures, arguing television channels
dictate who plays when.

Has Arsene got a point

UK broadcasters alone paid 1.782billion to show 138 live top-flight matches between 2010 and 2013.

Wenger added: 'The contracts are done
in a way that's not right for the fairness of the competition. You
cannot have decisive games with one team playing Friday and Tuesday and
another on Sunday on Tuesday.

'The Premier League (should) decide what is fair and what is not fair. At the moment, they don't. Television decides.

'We have sold our soul and we do
not control our games, our fixtures, any more. But it is the truth. I
cannot say that the television is wrong, but it's not normal that they
can have a direct influence on the schedule. The Premier League should
be in complete control of the Premier League.'

Last April Wenger said he believed
his side were the victims of a conspiracy that gave Manchester United an
advantage in the title race. He was upset that many of his club's games
had been scheduled for Sundays, meaning United always had the
opportunity to play first.

Yesterday Wenger pointed out that his
team were forced to play a rearranged League game against Stoke City
just four days before losing the Carling Cup final last February.

Arsenal won 1-0 but lost Theo
Walcott and Cesc Fabregas to injury, while their opponents at Wembley,
Birmingham City, saw their corresponding League match against Everton
delayed owing to bad weather.

He said: 'You can look 50 times (and) we are 50 times always in that situation.

'Of course it happens to many clubs.
It happens less to some than others. The responsibility of the Premier
League is to make sure that Premier League fixtures are better
distributed than they are.'

Wenger and his captain, Robin van
Persie, were also upset Arsenal had to play a televised League match at
Fulham on January 2, which they lost 2-1, just two days after beating
QPR.

Van Persie said: 'To be honest, I
still don't really see why we had to play twice in three days. 'We could
have played on the 31st and then the third, or even the fourth, like
other teams did. That would still have given us enough time before the
Leeds game. It looks like the fixtures were all in a rush for no
apparent reason.'

Euro 2012: Polish special forces in training

Better safe than sorry! Polish special forces in spectacular show of strength ahead of Euros

Poland is investing heavily in security for next year”s European soccer championship despite downgrading the number of visitors it expects.

Commandos have been simulating a multiple hostage situation in case criminals target the world”s second largest football tournament, which is being co-hosted with Ukraine next June.

The government now expects some 800,000 football fans to visit their four host cities – Warsaw, Gdansk, Poznan and Wroclaw.

Armed and dangerous: Troopers storm a train as Poland

Armed and dangerous: Troopers storm a train as Poland”s Elite Special Forces Unit prepare for Euro 2012 with a week-long dedicated training programme

“We got above 100 million zlotys (20m) from the state budget this year that we are spending entirely on Euro 2012 security,” Polish police spokesman Mariusz Sokolowski said. “This money goes first and foremost for 600 new vans. Secondly, we are also buying helmets, epaulets, pads, shields, everything that a policeman is equipped with. Let”s just hope they won”t have to be used.”

The Polish police and special forces have also held a week-long training session to better coordinate their procedures.

Colonel Piotr Gastal, head of Poland”s top special forces unit GROM, said: “We are training for the things that our unit was set up to do, business as usual, but there are more preparations ahead of Euro 2012 as there is a need for more operators.

Hijack: The routines were to prepare against hostage situations on public transport

Hijack: The routines were to prepare against hostage situations on public transport

Hijack: The routines were to prepare against hostage situations on public transport

“The Polish police holds the main responsibility for security during Euro 2012, but in case of a multiple hostage situation our unit can enter as the police are not trained or equipped enough to handle that.”

Ready for anything: The machinery involved was formidable

Ready for anything: The machinery involved was formidable

GROM has rehearsed releasing 20 or more hostages from public transport and public buildings, such as hotels and train stations.

“We are not aware of any additional, specific risks in Poland, but the sole fact of organising such an event like the Euros may be a target and we have to be prepared for various situations,” Gastal added.

Poland scaled down the number of fans it expects to visit during Euro 2012 after last week”s finals draw meant more popular teams such as Germany and England will play in Ukraine.

“Still, I hope for some several hundred million zlotys of additional revenue from fans” spending during the games,” said Marcin Herra, head of the PL2012 company dedicated to coordinating the tournament.

Extreme lengths: Divers from the special unit also practised in the Baltic Sea

Extreme lengths: Divers from the special unit also practised in the Baltic Sea

Poland also pegged a large-scale building programme to Euro 2012 and is upgrading its antiquated road infrastructure for the tournament, largely thanks to European Union”s aid funds.

“These investments is worth above 96 billion zlotys (19.1m),” Mikolaj Piotrowski said. “This speeding up in infrastructure may add a premium of some 20 billion zlotys by 2020 to the Polish Gross Domestic Product, a premium we would not have if it wasn”t for the Euros.”