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UEFA explains away empty seats at Euros

UEFA maintains that the empty seats witnessed at Euro 2012 have been caused by a combination of the exit of the host nations and the global economic downturn. Euro 2012 has seen both Poland and Ukraine fail to make it past the group stages.

Tournament director, Martin Kallen said that all games played so far had been sold out and any empty seats were a reflection of fans not being able to travel.

"If you have a team or both (host) teams which go to the quarter-finals of course that is better," he said. "Here the two hosts were very close to getting out of their groups - in Switzerland and Austria (in 2008), they were a little bit less close. But from our side it is not a point where we will award the Euros to countries that will go the quarter-finals."

Kallen added: "On the financial crisis, in terms of income we (UEFA) have recorded very high levels, if you look at the sponsorship and broadcast side in 2008, and 2004, and you cannot always have much more income on that side. What we can see is that with certain countries in economic crisis fewer fans were travelling to Poland and Ukraine because they do not have the financial means to come here."

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Dave Williams

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