Tuesday, May 29th, 2012
“Stay at home, watch it on TV. Don’t even risk it … because you could end up coming back in a coffin. I think they were wrong (to award Euro 2012 to Poland and Ukraine), because what they should say is that if you want this tournament you sort your problems out. Until we see that you have sorted it out, you are never going to get the tournament. You do not deserve these prestigious tournaments in your country.” – Sol Campbell.
Just days before Euro 2012 in Poland & Ukraine, BBC programme Panorama have delved a little deeper into fan culture in the two host countries and come up with a truly scary depiction of football in both countries.
The programme, fronted by Chris Rogers, features shocking racist violence and plenty of anti-semitism. With Panorama witnessing a group of Asian fans being attacked on the terraces of a Ukrainian premier league match and hears anti-Semitic chanting at games in Poland.
Panorama asks: how safe will travelling football teams and their supporters be at this summer’s European festival of football?
But, shouldn’t this programme have been made when Ukraine and Poland were awarded host status of Euro 2012? And, is it fair to lump Poland and Ukraine together like this – situations very different in both countries as seems to come through on the documentary?