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Euro 2012 leaders respond to racism fears
Reuters, May 30th, 2012 1:55AM
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After the BBC's investigative program "Panorama" aired a show on racism and mob violence at soccer stadiums in Poland and Ukraine, leaders from the Euro 2012 hosts assured foreign players and fans that they would be safe during the tournament.

"Nobody who comes to Poland will be in any danger because of his race," said Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk "This is not our custom, as is not pointing out similar incidents in other countries, although we know they take place. In Poland, they're a rarity,"

In Kiev, Ukraine's foreign ministry spokesman Oleh Voloshyn said the allegations were a "dreamed up and mythical problem."

"Panorama" contained footage of fans giving Nazi salutes, taunting black players with monkey noises, anti-Semitic chants and a group of Asian students being attacked at the Metalist Stadium in Kharkiv, one of the four Ukrainian cities that will be hosting matches.

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1 comment
  1. Carlos Thys
    commented on: May 30, 2012 at 3:24 p.m.
    Poland has a lot to prove in this next month. Their national league and football in Poland suffer mightily due to repeated crowd violence and dangers in and around the stadium, in the stadium cities on match days. Polish football languishes not just because a Pole in Warsaw can sit on his sofa and watch Arsenal or FC Barca on his TV in the comfort of his home, it suffers because stadium atmosphere (not family friendly at all) can turn ugly very fast. And travelling fans in the colors of the away side are never safe unless in numbers with police protection nearby (and police on the trains that bring them to the away venue) I am tired of functionaries who paper over long, long-standing problems that one cannot overlook. The travelling fan in Poland can probably travel with only some caution due to what will be a "Poland on its best behavior." In other words, due to the best weather of the year, the event itself (very short-lived), a visiting fan from outside Poland will probably have a nice experience. But it will not represent normalcy as Polish hooligans have demonstrated repeatedly over the past two decades.

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