Ukraine has qualified for a Euro finals for the first time having co-hosted in 2012. FFU president Andriy Pavelko talks about what needs to happen for a successful tournament.
DW: Mr Pavelko, at the European Championships you will meet neighbors Poland, underdogs Northern Ireland and world champions Germany. Are you happy with this draw?
Pavelko: Well, I can only say that if we manage to pull through the last game of the first round on June 21. I'll know if I'm happy about the draw then. Only the results of the three games will show who the favorite in this group is and who the outsider is.
The hardest game of the group phase looks to be against world champions Germany on June 12. How do you go about beating them?
Playing the world champions requires no extra motivation. This is a team, which any of our players will play against with full dedication. I am sure that the Ukrainian side will show a nice and dignified game against the world champions.
Besides this match awaits another special game: the clash with Poland who co-organized the last European Championships. What do you expect from this game?
The match against Poland will be our last game in the group stage and it is certainly the most important game for us. It is everything or nothing. But of course it would be nice if both teams went through to the next round.
What tactics will Ukraine employ to get into the Last 16?
Ultimately, it does not matter what tactics we use, as long as they lead us to victory. But I prefer to leave these choices down to our head coach Mikhail Fomenko.
Two years ago, you co-hosted Euro 2012 with Poland and it gave Ukraine a massive lift. Where does the national team stand today?
The 2012 European Championships have given us a boost. We have made history now: for the first time we have directly qualified for the tournament. We're so confident now that we finally accomplished this. The three group games will show whether we are ready for more.
The draw took place one month after the terrorist attacks in Paris. ´Where were your feelings when you travelled here?
It's the most important thing to protect the lives of people. That's why I'm convinced that any additional security measures are necessary and should not be criticized. To ensure safety is a major challenge today.
Can France guarantee a safe tournament this summer?
France has understood that there is a responsibility for all the participating countries and their fans require additional forces to guarantee security. I am convinced that France will provide that too.
Since March 2015, Andriy Pavelko is the President of the Football Federation of Ukraine (FFU) - previously he had been acting as interim president. Born in Dnipropetrovsk, Pavelko quickly made career in the regional football association. Pavelko graduated from the Yaroslav Mudryi University of Law and is also a member of the Ukrainian parliament.
This interview was conducted by DW Sports Editor Joscha Weber.