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France 2016 – Travel & Tickets

In the build up to 2016, London Englandfans will be holding regular football forums on travel, ticketing, security and general football chat. Our forums are currently held at the New Moon pub in Gracechurch Street in the City of London – please feel free to pop down to join us. Joining us for January’s forum we had Owen Gibson from The Guardian and Harpreet Robertson, head of the England Supporters Club.

Owen Gibson – Chief Sports Corrispondant at The Guardian

What do you make of all the goings on at FIFA & UEFA – do you see this effecting the tournament in France?

Platini was hoping to be triumphant in bringing the tournament back to France. It was actually France 98 when Platini and Blatter started to become close and the banning of Platini shows that the corruption crisis in football is not just to do with the rest of the world – Europe is complicit as well.

It’s important to note that the corruption that has been going on at the governing bodies doesn’t necessarily make for a poor tournament – generally the tournament organisers on the ground have still tended to do a good job. However, every time these guys were selling TV contracts under their value, or took over tickets to sell and put that in their own pocket, is money that could have been put to making the ticket prices cheaper or towards football development.

Owen Gibson - The Guardian

What’s the likelihood of the 2018 World Cup being taken away from Russia, bearing in mind it’s highly likely the vote was corrupt?

It’s extremely unlikely, purely due to the logistics. On the face of it, it seems ridiculous bearing in mind half of their athletes are barred due to doping issues. However, the tournament is two years away and the stadiums are already either built or being built so Russia will keep the competition.

Several fans have raised questions about how England fans are portrayed by the media. Will the Guardian, (or do you know if any of the other national papers) will be sending additional reports to write about the behavior of our fans over in France?

The topic of travelling fans is a less strong point with the papers and less sensationalist than it was back in [lets say] 1998. The British press will take more journalists over to France than previous tournaments in Brazil, South Africa or Ukraine – but mainly because it’s closer and the stories are more attractive with the home nations all in attendance apart from Scotland. The papers will pay attention to the security aspect but in general they hold a more balanced opinion than several years ago.

Would you start Wayne Rooney?

At the moment a team with Jamie Vardy and Harry Kane doesn’t look bad! With Sturridge and Welbeck still to come back the squad certainly seems to have a bit more depth to it that when we approached Brazil.

Who do you think will win the tournament?

France and Germany look good favorites. Belgium look good on paper, however they lack experience of winning at tournaments and the fact they have a lot of premier league players will work against them, the same as it does against England.

What are your expectations for England?

The Quarter finals would be an improvement on Brazil and the Semi’s would be a massive improvement. Anything less than that would be a disappointment.

London Englandfans at the New Moon Pub, Gracechurch Street

Do you think the Press will create a fever of expectation, as they often do prior to big tournaments? 

There has been a more realistic mood around recent tournaments which has taken a bit of pressure off the players. In the run-up to Brazil, the press possibly talked down our expectations too much. Either way, the lower level of pressure didn’t seem to work in Brazil – it is important to keep an element of excitement to give the team momentum. It’s worth remembering that England are not the only nation who feel the pressure of their fans going into the tournament – think about Brazil at their home last World Cup!

If there is one group we [the media] should talk about getting out of, it has to be this one. It’s also important to remember the press have a commercial element as well – they need to use tournaments to sell papers, but you certainly won’t see the press going overboard as they did with the so called ‘golden generation’.

Harpreet Robertson – Head of the England Supporters Club

The FA recently advised fans to apply for tickets by the 11th January – why have they done this when the dealing is the 18th?

The 11th Jan wasn’t a deadline, but an email to encourage fans not to leave their application until the last minute – the main reason being that if you have any problems with the form the FA won’t be able to assest everyone who leaves it until the morning of the 18th! Here are a couple of pointers for your application:

  • Activation Code – This code is provided by UEFA – you’ll need to get this first just so you have an account.
  • Access Code – means you’re a travel club member and you can apply for tickets
  • For Group bookings it is important to only us one access code (per group of up to four people)

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Is it fair to say that you’ll be using the CAP system for each category?

Yes, although the FA doesn’t have visibility of exactly how many tickets are available in each category.

Why has the last 16 game got the lowest amount of available tickets – only 3000?

Because UEFA don’t know which team will be playing in which stadium they have to assign tickets based on allocation for the smallest stadium, which would be 3,000.

What happens if people have different number of caps within a group?

A group will only be split in the instance that one or more member have enough to be guaranteed a ticket. In this instance, the person with enough caps would be allocated a ticket, whilst the other members of the group would be go into a ballot. This means that those with enough caps are not penalised for applying in a group. The remainder of the group would however go into the ballot being treated as a group – either all being allocated a ticket or not.

How will tickets be sent out, providing your applications is successful?

Group tickets will be sent to home address around 2/3 weeks before the tournament.

In previous tournaments, the organisers have only tried once to authorise a credit card before rejecting the application (if the card is rejected) – will the same rules apply this time round?

The FA will attempt to support fans who have any issues with credit card payments. England is one of only around five or six countries who have a loyalty scheme which means the FA  have a little more leeway to help in this type of situations.

It is important to make sure the expiry date on the credit card is post August 2016 when UEFA will make refunds for tickets IF we get knocked out.

How long will it take for to hear back on whether you’re successful?

It’s likely to be the end of January or early February – the timescale is dependent on how long UEFA take to provide the FA with information once they have check for things like duplicate entries (eg. if someone has already applied for a ticket directly with UEFA). Some key points worth noting:

  • Members should not submit duplicate applications – ie. apply for tickets in more than one group.
  • Applications should not include non-members (England supports club).

If you do either of the above your application will be cancelled. Once the application process is complete, the FA will run through the following process:

  • Take the top cappers and distribute tickets across the categories.
  • Ballot according to rules for the games that are over-subscribed.

You won’t need your credit card to pick up any tickets in France, all tickets post the group stage will be collected from the FA in the usual manor for away games – with your Englansfans membership card or valid photo ID.

What friendlies do England have planned prior to the tournament?

It’s likely that there will be three friendlies: one at Wembley and two in the North of England, although this will be confirmed around mid-February time.

 

 

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World Cup Safety & Security Forum

The panel:
Tony Conniford, Head of Corporate and Team Security, The FA
Roger Evans, Assistant Director Uk Football Policing Unit
Sarah de Carvalho, Chief Executive Happy Child International / Its a Penalty Campaign (seewww.itsapenalty.com)
Kevin Miles, Co-ordinator England Fan Embassies World Cup 2014

The London EnglandFans group held their third fans forum on the Brazil World Cup at the Savoy Tup last Thursday. The evening was a chance for the fans to hear from key speakers who are all linked to the safety, security and enjoyment of the fans at this summer’s tournament. With just 56 days to go until the opening game the guest panel were able to provide insight into how tournament preparations are developing over in Brazil and how the planning process by the FA and the Football Policing Unit were progressing.

Number 3

Roger Evans, who has helped shape the Football Policing Units plans for Brazil, was able to provide some insight into the relationship that the UK police have with their Brazillian counterparts. Essentially the UK representation will be in Brazil in an advisory capacity only, having no decision making powers in the way that the crowds are managed. They will however be able to use their experience to ‘interpret the behaviour of the Englandfans’, being free to provide advice and try to recommend a certain course of action in a diplomatic manner.
In terms of safety, which has been a reoccurring theme in the media during the build-up for the tournament, it was reassuring to hear that it will be the full Polícia Militar covering match days rather than lower levels of Federal police which exist in Brazil.

In addition to the strategic side of security, both Roger and Tony Conniford from the FA Team Security were keen to provide practical advice for matchdays. One of the key themes here was for fans to give themselves plenty of time to travel to the stadiums. The likes of Rio and Sao Paolo are huge cities where traffic can be a big issue. For some of the World Cup venues such as Forteleza there will be a huge traffic exclusion zone around the stadium which could mean a walk of up to two miles from the ground.

Whilst traffic & transport may cause some logistical issues for fans, Sarah de Carvalho, Chief Executive Happy Child International spoke about some far more concerning problems facing Brazil. Having lived in Brazil for over 20 years, Sarah’s charity works to rescues and rehabilitate street children who are at risk from the danger of sexual exploitation. It was quite shocking to hear that sex tourism went up by an estimated 40% during the World Cup in South Africa. Brazil is now the second most popular destination for sex tourism with an estimated 250,000 children working as prostitutes. After watching a BBC video EnglandFans were urged to support the ‘It’s a Penalty’ campaign which encourages football fans to ‘say something if you see something’ by dialling 100 from any phone line in Brazil. The campaign is supported by the likes of Linekar, Shearer and Didier Drogba and LondonEnglandFans have backed the campaign by wearing badges and wristbands which will be distributed to all fans who have bought their tickets through the FA.

At the evening the forum heard from Kevin Miles of the Football Supporters Federation. Fresh from his second trip back from Brazil, Kevin was keen for Fans to spread the word that the Free Lions guide to the World Cup was now available. Key travel tips will be available in the guide which information such as the availability of Wifi (sounded fairly good), bars and sights to visit. Belo Horizonte sounds like the pick of Englands group stage destination. Whilst Manaus is surrounded by the beauty of the Amazon jungle, the city itself was depicted as an industrial outpost which holds few areas of interest aside from the crunch tie with Italy.

 

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London England Fans Forum – Thursday 15th May

The final London England Fans forum before Brazil ‘14 had to be moved to a new venue to accommodate a packed house of fans along with TV crews from Sky News and BBC. Attracted by an all-star cast fans piled into New Moon in Leadenhall Market anticipating top tips, views and opinions about the forthcoming tournament. Through the course of the evening we heard from Alex Ellis, British Ambassador to Brazil; Sue Branford, Latin America Bureau and contributor to Brazil Inside Out; Alex Bellos, Author of Futebol: The Brazilian Way of Life and Jethro Soutar, Editor of The Football Crónicas.

Alex Ellis

Guest speaker and star of the evening Alex Ellis fought off tough competition within government to secure his post, which began in July 2013! One of the key questions that surfaced throughout both our forums and the world media is whether the 12 stadiums selected for the tournament will be ready for kick off on June 13th. Alex was keen to get across that many of the stadiums have already been in use for well over a year and have seen plenty of pre-tournament action. Whilst other venues may be pushing the deadlines a little bit closer than FIFA would have liked, the Ambassador was keen to assert that ‘things can happen incredibly quickly’ in Brazil when need be.

When quizzed on what Brazilians thought of ‘The English’, it was interesting to hear that Brazilians focus on domestic football and that a lot of the locals will not be overly familiar with the Premier League, apart from Chelsea due to it being home to a number of their favourite football stars. England is widely known as the home of football and according to Alex, the most senior court in Brazil displays the iconic image of Pele and Bobby Moore from the 1970 World Cup!

Over Alex’s tenure he has also seen a wholesale change to the World Cup protests which have dominated the media coverage during the build-up.  The Ambassador was keen to stress that at the beginning of his tenure, the protests were wide scale and peaceful, but ‘when violence erupted, the large scale support stopped’, leaving a small group of highly politicised demonstrators. The general feeling is that when the World Cup kicks off, football will take over and the protests will die away.

Jethro Soutar

When the football does finally begin, Jethro Soutar is confident that Brazil ‘14 will provide the platform for South American teams to shine, predicting that Argentina will lose to Brazil in the Final. It was interesting to hear too that over 250,000 Argentineans are expected to travel to Brazil, despite the fact that their ticket allocation for each group game has been set at 4,000 – something that has not gone down well since Canada have been allocated over 13,000 tickets. Chile is another of the South American countries that has received a ticket allocation of 4,000. This is slightly problematic for the Mayor of Salamanca who promised to take over 1000 locals to the World Cup if elected. Like most politicians, its looks like the Mayor may be following a pattern of over-promising and under-delivering!

Sue Branford
Sue Branford originally intended to go to Brazil for 2 years and ended up staying for 10, so is a huge advocate of the World Cup, but also well placed to give an insight into the protest movements and the daily problems faced by the Brazilian people.  Inequality is extreme in Brazil and there is no doubt that many England fans will see elements of crime and certainly street beggars in the host cities. Sue believes it is difficult to predict whether the inequalities and tension is likely to bubble over during the protests but believes the likelihood of this happening would certainly increase if Brazil were to be knocked out in the early stages of the tournament. From an English point of view, let’s hope the Selecao progress through the Group stages in second place, which might not only hold off the riots, but also set up a potentially mouth-watering quarter final with England!

Alex Bellos

Alex Bellos believes that the quarter finals is about as far as England can hope to progress. Brazilians, however, are confident of winning the first World Cup on their own soil for 64 years – partly due to their success at last year’s Confederations Cup and partly because of Neymar, who they believe to be their first striker in 10 years that truly plays ‘The Brazilian way.’

Speaking about ‘The Brazailian Way’ off the field, Alex talked extensively about a rich and diverse country; muddled and chaotic at times (as we have seen with the tournament preparation) but also a country where ‘anything that has the appearance of a nightmare is always fine in the end – you just need to chill out.’  The analogy of a Brazilian bartender pouring a Caipirinha is a good example of what England fans can expect from the World Cup – the waiter may have no idea about what constitutes an official measure and you may have to wait a while, but when your drink does arrive, it will taste great and you’ll have an amazing time.

Judging by what we heard from Alex and the speakers at all of our pervious forums, England fans are certainly set for an adventure this summer. Brazil is a vast country with people who are as diverse as the natural resources of the Amazon and an impressive landscape; although some locations are slightly less glamorous than others, particularly Manaus, an industrial city that was concreted over the jungle as a result of the rubber boom in the late 60s and only accessible by air or water. And it’s not just the cities and climate that is diverse; Brazil boasts the largest Japanese community outside of Japan, an Arabic fast food chain that is more popular than McDonalds and a language that is easy on the ear but challenging to master. Brazil is not without its problems however and England fans need to be safety conscious –but on the whole the experience of Brazil will be one of a lifetime and the people, football and culture should be embraced by all fans travelling to the World Cup.

Should you need advice during the tournament EnglandFans are advised to Tweet questions to @FCOTravel. You can also visit the Gov website: www.gov.uk/government/news/world-cup-2014

Further Reading

Sky News Coverage from event:http://www1.skysports.com/FIFA-World-Cup-2014/news/12016/9313432/england-fans-warned-about-world-cup-protests-in-brazil

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London England Fans – February Forum

By Joshua Drake

The LondonEnglandFans group met up on February 23 to host their second supporter’s forum in the run-up to the Euro 2012 championships in Ukraine and Poland.

Focusing specifically on Ukrainian tourism, as they host England’s games in the group stages, the speakers included a delegation from the Ukrainian embassy and Kevin Miles, from the Football Supporters Federation (FSF).

Speaking on behalf of the Ukrainian embassy, first secretary Rostyslav Ogryzko, said: “We are hoping that thousands of Engllish and European fans and tourists will be coming to our country in June.. We hope that you will enjoy the Ukrainian hospitality which is really friendly,” he added.

The discussion focused mainly on transport, accommodation, and tourism within Donetsk and Kiev. As England will play twice in Donetsk and once in Kiev, it was important for fans to hear about preparations regarding infrastructure and tourism.

A major talking point for traveling fans has been the transport links between Kiev and Donetsk, with the majority of speculation concerning the new high-speed rail system. Ogryzko explained: “In late May there will be a new system of high speed trains launched between the hosting cities, which will mean you can reach Kiev from Donetsk in approximately 5 hours. The new trains are coming South Korea.”

Miles spoke of the air links between the two cities, which reduces traveling to an hour. “They are apparently arranging extra flights to create more of a shuttle service between Kiev and Donetsk. That’s definitely going to be the easiest option,” he explained.

He warned that despite the brand new terminal being built in Donetsk, there are still capacity issues regarding the airports. However, he predicts the new high-speed trains will make a considerable difference to lightening the strain on flight demands.

Miles was asked about the high prices being charged for flights between the two cities, and responded: “That will be because they haven’t released details on any of the other flights planned, and once they do, the prices will come down. They were adamant though that the state would not step in when it came to the regulation of air travel.” He said that he couldn’t give any indication just yet concerning the announcement of the extra plane times, but assured that the FSF would give out any information once received.

In the media much has been spoken about concerning any potential problems that fans would encounter in the Ukraine, and one of which was the policing, which Ogryzko was keen to clear up. He explained: “If you are stopped by Ukrainian police, firstly they will probably ask you to show your papers, because it happens sometimes. As long as you do everything correctly, there will be no reason to be stopped.”

Miles, who has had experiences with the policing in nearby Russia, told the forum: “I think everyone will be on their best behaviour. The last thing the Ukrainians want is there to be any bad publicity, so although I think there are sometimes issues in other countries, there won’t be many this time round.”

The FSF will release a travel guide soon to assist fans going out to the Ukraine on how to handle similar situations.

England will play two group games in Donetsk so the fans will be seeing a lot of the city. It became quite apparent that because of the industry roots within the city, it isn’t quite going to be a haven for tourism. Though Ogryzko did mention a number of places outside of the city that were definitely worth the visit. The Svyatogorsk monastery 100km outside of the city is situated in the surrounding mountains, and travel there is found quite easily, and the monastery is well equipped for tourism. There are also well-known salt mines in Artemovsk that are 300m underneath the surface.
Within the city, there are monuments dedicated to the Beatles and John Hughes, the latter was a Welshman that first founded the city.
Miles has visited Donetsk and gave his take on the city: “It’s not a beautiful place, except for the stadium. I have to say that the stadium is fantastic. It’s as good a football stadium as I have ever seen anywhere. It’s brand new; they’ve spent a fortune on it, no expense spared. I think it’s the jewel in the crown of Donetsk.”

In terms of organising trips and days out, Miles has said that the FSF will be looking at what they can do to help.
He explains: “When it comes to organising excursions out for groups and such, we tried speaking with some officials about putting us in touch with some of the main coach hiring companies to contact them independently. “But they couldn’t get their heads around the idea that there would be groups that would want to take complete responsibility for the organisation and supervision of an excursion like that. But they’re happy to cooperate and will try their best to find some companies that wouldn’t mind their details being passed on.”

For fans wanting a bit more to do Kiev definitely delivers. Ogryzko was full of praise for the city as it is where he grew up “Regarding Kiev, it’s a city that you can stay in for a week and still have something unexplored,“ he said. From ferry rides along the Dnipro river to visiting the grand St. Sofia cathedral, there is a fabulous mix of history and youthfulness, and as the city is very compact it is easy to get around. “The Podil district is very beautiful and is situated along the Dnipro, and a really historic area of Kiev,” said Maxim Emelyanov of the Ukrainian embassy.
Emelyanov continued: “There are a lot of places like St. Sophia cathedral and St. Andrew’s church that have been there for thousands of years. It is very beautiful. “Also Ukrainian beer is incredibly cheap; I believe that one litre of good Ukrainian vodka will cost you about five pounds.”
Denys Semenovych, also of the Ukrainian embassy, spoke regarding the metro system within Kiev: “If you guys are going to be moving around Kiev pay special attention to the Metro. It is smaller than London’s but every station has been developed like a master piece. It is all pretty much marble, with statues and paintings, and chandeliers hanging from high ceilings. It is an incredible experience,” he said.

The Ukrainian embassy officials in attendance were also happy to confirm the Metro stations would have Latin names as well as Ukrainian.
The Pirogovo museum was also mentioned as a must-see. It is an open-air museum that showcases the different forms of architecture Ukraine has had through its history.

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Euro 2012 Travel Forum: No worries for fans in Ukraine

As England fans gear up for what we hope to be a successful European Championships campaign the LondonEnglandFans group held their first fans travel forum in the run-up to the tournament to discuss a variety of topics from fan safety to Ukrainian beer.
 
Report: Joshua Drake
The group LondonEnglandFans, had its first pre-Euro 2012 travel forum last Thursday.
The forum took place in the Queens Head on Denman Street, and covered tournament organisation, security issues, and what to expect in Ukraine come the summer. Guest-speakers included Harpreet Grewal (FA’s head of EnglandFans), Lee Davidson ( Head of the Football Section in the Public order Unit at the Home Office), and Yuriy Shpek (a Ukrainian football fan who resides in London).
Security
There have been a number of reports in the media of Ukrainian hooliganism and some fans expressed concern about these. But Shpek, a Dynamo Kiev fan, who has lived in the UK for six and a half years, was keen to dispel the tales: “Anywhere you go you’re going to find an idiot, who will say something stupid, or do something stupid.”
Lee Davidson added “From a security perspective it is very important that everybody is aware of any risk of trouble but I think there is less to be worried about for both sides.”
Lee Davidson, who is the Head of the Football section at the Home Office, explained to all in attendance that there are plans in motion to send a delegation of English police over to Kiev and Donetsk. Both of these cities will play host to England’s group stage matches, the latter of the three will be against the hosts.
 
She went on to explain: “Our interest in the football is around the safety and security of England fans, and this  is the responsibility of the Home Secretary. Whenever we deploy a police delegation overseas it’s done under the Home Secretary’s authority.”
As to the Ukraine, “Our police have found that the policing culture at football matches is very different over there than it is here. They have more police within the stadia, unlike the majority stewarding that we do here.”
However, she explained that UEFA as well as other countries are not used to having so many police units within the stadiums, and that UEFA are working closely with Ukraine to adapt these tactics for the upcoming tournament.
“What we have seen is that the Ukrainian police are very willing to learn from our way of policing football. Our past experiences with them has been very positive,” said Davidson.
Should England make it to the semi-finals there is a chance that England fans could be heading over to Poland, and Lee assured everyone in the room that they at the Home Office are ready for this. She also made assurances that our “problem fans” would not be going anywhere near the tournament with banning orders in place and checks at all points of departure and arrival.
Lee also revealed that senior police officials would be visiting the Ukrainian authorities next month to discuss international police cooperation. She said that the point will be driven home that our fans “should be judged on their behaviour [at the tournament], and not on any perceived negative reputation.”
By the beginning of March, UEFA will announce whether they believe there are any high risk matches within the group stages, in which extra policing would be provided for. Though, none of England’s matches against Ukraine, France or Sweden are expected to be flagged up.
Tickets
When prompted on the availability of tickets, Harpreet Grewal, FA’s Head of EnglandFans, gave assurances that there was unlikely to be any shortage for those who apply via the supporters club.
“If the amount of applications were to be doubled, we’d still have plenty of tickets.”
She added: “There has been a really low intake of tickets for quarter finals and semi finals, It will be similar to South Africa and Japan numbers-wise.”
When asked whether the FA were concerned about any potential lack of support Harpreet replied: “I think if we were in Poland it would be completely different because it’s a lot easier to get into Poland and get back. It’s also cheaper.”
A major put-off appears to  have been the location of the first and third England games, both being in Donetsk, which you cannot fly direct to. Harpreet continued: “We don’t believe support for the national team is dropping; we just understand Ukraine is quite a hard place to get to.”
Refusing to guarantee anything, Grewal did concede that it wouldn’t be hard for EnglandFans members to get their hands on tickets for what could potentially be all six games for England.
One member did point out that a large contingent from England will purchase tickets from UEFA, which has also happened before with FIFA. Therefore, the FA’s sales are not a true representative of how many England fans will be travelling to Ukraine.
Harpreet was also keen to point out that people won’t need to pay more for the most expensive Category 1 tickets to be assured of being successful as at the moment there are plenty of the lower priced tickets still available. You can amend your application online before the deadline if you have already applied for tickets and wish to change the category.
Travel and infrastructure
There are numerous projects ongoing in the Ukraine to make travelling easier for fans from abroad. These are as small as changing signposts to English and as large as the installation of a high speed railway link between Kiev and Donetsk.
Yuriy gave the forum an update on the status of the high speed trains: “They are planning to start running these trains in March, the latest April. So, they’ll hopefully have it all running smoothly for the tournament. UEFA will be monitoring the situation very closely so they should have any updates you need, as not just England, but all over Europe, fans will be interested in that to make their lives a bit easier.”
When asked how long these trains would take, he announced that the journey between the two cities would take roughly 5 and a half hours compared to 12 hours on a standard train.
Apparently asking for directions shouldn’t be too hard either, as the majority of children in Ukraine are taught English as early as six or seven years of age. Metro system maps are also being modified with numbers and names using Latin characters.
 
What to do
Harpreet revealed plans for collaboration events, involving the FA’s two partners Thompson and Vauxhall,  for England fans to turn up to and have activities on-going, like mini fan-zones: “We’re trying to formulate some plans at this moment in time, as we’re not sure what venues would be available in Donetsk and Kiev. Any events secured will be announced in May. I know that around the major cities UEFA are going to be setting up a number of large screens as well as fan-zones for fans to enjoy themselves.”
When asked on which Ukrainian beer to drink, Yuriy was full of praise for his homeland’s breweries.
“We are a big beer drinking nation. There is plenty of good Ukrainian beers, lager mainly, but a bit of dark beer too. What I will say is when you go to the pubs and order your lager; say ‘can I have one large beer?’, because not many people think of beer as in a pint.”
“The key beer to try is Obolon, which is highly recommended. In Donetsk you have a local beer called Sarmat; it’s about five percent alcohol beer, which is very similar to the German pils.” Yuriy also recommended Lvivske and Slavutych (part of the Carlsberg group), and also Chernigivske which is a blonde beer.
 
Where to stay
It has been well documented that Donetsk in particular is limited in accommodation, and despite informing the forum that there are plans for a “Little England” campsite to be assembled in Donetsk somewhere, those in attendance were keen to know of other suitable alternative cities or towns to stay.
Yuriy ‘s recommendation was probably one few have considered so far: “I would say Odessa, enjoy a bit of the sunshine and the sea. There is a lot of heritage there. I would say to England fans, please forget the stereotypes of cold harsh winters, it is quite true, but summer is very very hot.”
When asked on how accommodating the more rural areas world be, Yuriy responded: “I think fans will be received very well in the small areas as I don’t think they will have as many people passing through and staying as in the bigger cities and towns. I think they will be appreciating the tourism a bit more.”
There are links to the recommended accommodation sites both on the EnglandFans and UEFA websites.
The next LondonEnglandFans Euro 2012 forum will be held on Thursday 23 February at 7pm at the Queen’s Head, 15 Denman Street, London, W1D 7HN. The topic will be  ‘Travel and tourism’ and the speakers will include Kevin Miles, Euro 2012 Fans Embassy coordinator.

To keep informed of LondonEnglandFans forums and Euro 2012 news send an email to  LondonEnglandFans-subscribe@yahoogroups.com