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April 19, 2007

I've got my tickets for Dnipropetrovsk

Euro2012_2 Well, not quite, but maybe in a couple of years time.

For some time now, I've always fancied visiting Dnipropetrovsk in the Ukraine (formerly, of coures, in the CCCP).

This was based on knowing nothing about the city, except for the fact that they had a football team who occassionally appeared in European competitions who rejoiced in the brilliant name Dnipr Dnipropetrovsk.

That struck me as the equivalent in English of calling a London team Thames Thamestown - which would surely be an act of genius.

Of course, I've had absolutely no excuse to visit there - until yesterday, when UEFA announced that the 2012 European Championship will be jointly held in Poland and the Ukraine, with Dnipropetrovsk as one of the host cities.

I haven't found out yet whether my Euro2008 ticket application for matches in Salzburg has been successful, but you know that for sure I will be applying to go and see football by the banks of the Dnipr in 2012 in due course.

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I guess the name of the Hull Kingston Rovers rugby league team is almost as weird as Dnipr Dnipropetrovsk.

Strange in the first place that Kingston upon Hull should be shortened to Hull, not Kingston. Then - presumably because people didn't know which Kingston Kingston Rovers came from - they end up with a team name that's the equivalent of Tyne Newcastle United...

One of my colleagues has a property in Poland. He looked at me very strangely yesterday when I asked if I could borrow it for a few weeks in five years' time.

In the course of my research, I also discovered that Ukraine is huge.

>> In the course of my research, I also discovered that Ukraine is huge.

To my shame, post Soviet-era the whole of the Eastern European map is still much of a mystery to me. A while back when I was talking about who might host Euro2012, one of my friends said "Poland and Ukraine? What's the deal with that?", and I said "They have a common border. Well, at least I think they do. Actually, I've got no idea to be honest".

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