DONETSK/WARSAW: Poland’s Fan Zone experience at Euro 2012 has outstripped not only Austria or Switzerland four years ago but also that of the World Cup in South Africa two years ago writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

This has emerged from statistics issued by the organisers of the Polish half of the European Championship being staged in partnership with Ukraine

The Polish fan zones in the four host cities – Warsaw, Gdansk, Poznan and Wroclaw – plus Krakow had been set up with the expectation of welcoming a maximum 235,000 supporters. In fact such was their popularity that the fan zones in Gdansk, Wroclaw and Krakow were all enlarged after the first round of games.

A total of 2,075,325 fans was registered, far higher than the corresponding numbers from the group stages of the two previous major football tournaments.

The Poles claim not only a significant improvement on each of the hosts for the group games during Euro 2008 (952,000 in Austria and 1.6m in Switzerland) but on the 2010 World Cup.

Circumstances were very different but the Poles organisers claimed fan zone number running at 25pc more than the 1.5m who attending the 10 zones in South Africa – which involved four times as many matches.

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