France hopes to use Donetsk as Euro 2012 base

France hopes to use Donetsk as its base for next year’s European

Championship and train at local club Shakhtar’s state-of-the-art


France and England play their Euro 2012 opener in Donetsk on

June 11, and France stays there to face Ukraine four days later,

before its final Group D match against Sweden in Kiev on June


France coach Laurent Blanc led a delegation to Ukraine this week

to visit potential hotels in Donetsk.

Prior to last week’s draw, Portugal had first option on using

Shakhtar’s training facilities, but has waived that right as it

plays its matches in Lviv and Kharkiv.

The French federation said on its website Thursday it has asked

UEFA about using Shakhtar’s training center, and that it has until

Jan. 31 to agree terms with Shakhtar Donetsk and the local

organizing committee.

”The facilities at Shakhtar Donetsk really caught (Blanc’s)

eye,” the FFF said. ”It is a remarkably designed place for a

top-level team.”

The FFF added that it will begin discussions ”without delay”

with local authorities to designate a suitable hotel, adding that

the priority is to stay in Donetsk rather than travel to training

and matches from a neighboring town.