x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Euro 2012: Locals try to cash in as game checks out

Local entrepreneurs are trying to make the most of Euro 2012's final moments, but the rush of fans they anticipated have not materialised.

The statue of Lenin in the city square at Donetsk has been a little lonelier as the Euro 2012's conclusion approaches.
The statue of Lenin in the city square at Donetsk has been a little lonelier as the Euro 2012's conclusion approaches.

 

DONETSK, Ukraine // Got tickets?

OK, then what about having your face painted?

We will give you a good price.

Wednesday's final Euro 2012 encounter at the Donbass Arena in the west of Ukraine was ushered in with the feeling a closing down sale.

There have been five matches played at this spectacular ground over the course of 17 days.

For local entrepreneurs, this was the last chance to make some extras funds.

Even the ticket touts were multi-tasking.

When they failed to shift the clods of tickets they had in their hands, some of them switched to decorating faces instead.

They had a fair bit of red paint to get through.

They obviously had failed to grasp the concept of cutting prices to make a sale, however, judging by the swathes of empty seats there were inside the ground.

The anticipated rush never came.

The local tourism authority had been quoted in Ukrainian media on the day of the game as predicting 50,000 foreign visitors would descend on Donetsk for the game, with 130 specially chartered flights landing at the city' small airport.

They must have all gone to the wrong ground, then.

Perhaps the Shakhtar Stadium, at the southern end of town, was inundated with supporters wondering where Spain and Portugal were.

The vacant black and orange seats were bad enough eyesores, but the absentees even managed to ruin Uefa's best laid plans.

The spectators were tasked with holding up placards before kick off to help spread the word about the governing body's "Respect" campaign.

It was missing most of the "p", some of the second "e" and some of the "c", too.

End of term at this tournament has come at the right time for in this particular city.

Most supporters seem demob happy about the prospect of getting away.

pradley@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE