“Stay home, watch it on TV… don’t even risk it”. That was Sol Campbell’s advice to England supporters on BBC’s Panorama programme before the tournament began. It looks to be sound advice as well after only five days of the tournament have brought the occasions of violence into double figures. Before the football began, the Dutch squad were subjected to ‘monkey chants’ at an open training session. Both Mario Balotelli and Gebre Selassie have been targetted during matches, by Spanish and Russian fans respectively.

Uefa have typically attempted to swerve all responsibility: “Uefa’s ‘zero tolerance’ approach to racism is still valid both on and off the pitch and ultimately the referee has the power to stop or abandon a match should racist incidents occur”. Placing the referee in charge of such big decisions with huge implications is, quite frankly, a joke.

There is an argument that hosting the tournament in countries with problems such as this will bring the issue into the public eye, hoping that the ignorant views held will be given an education. However, I share Campbell’s view that problems should be addressed before allowing big tournaments to be held in places where trouble like this occurs.

Some of the pictures seen on news channels and the internet have been horrific, the violent attack on stewards after Russia’s opening match was particularly disgraceful. Uefa’s decision to have Russia playing in Poland seems strange to say the least.

Hopefully Uefa and the Polish & Ukrainian authorities can take control of the situation before it gets totally out of hand.

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  • Guest

    Are you fucking kidding me. England, the most racially backward country of all, complaining about racism?

    PATHETIC!

    • GeordieBen

      Maybe racially backwards is a bit far like, but not by much. We do seem to be quite the finger pointers when we aren’t being judged. 

      • Bobster77

        definitely. if you live in a glass house dont throw stones is what they say. Mark Duggan RIP.

  • Geoff Freeman

    What a load of sensationalist rubbish. I’ve been in Ukraine since the tournament began and the atmosphere is fantastic.  I’ve met people from various countries and different ethnic backgrounds, everyone seemed in great spirits – nobody has had a bad word to say about the hosts, though a few have commented on the BBC programme, saying what a load of crap it was.

    From what I recall there was far more crowd trouble in Euro 96 including riots after England got knocked out… and pretty much every other world cup or Euros since.

    • guest

      Minimum of 183 arrested last night alone.

      • Geoff Freeman

        Yep – heard about that. I was refering only to Ukraine before – this was in Poland.  Most of it was due to a march taking place invloving Russians in celebration of Russian national day and Polish people taking offence for obvious reasons.

      • Geoff Freeman

        I think the only Ukrainians to be arrested so far were a group of topless feminist protesters.

      • Bobster77

        shock horror. That’s fewer arrests than an average saturday night in London.

      • Bobster77

        3100 arrests at the 2011 London riots.

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14532532

  • Patrick Kirwan

    If Mr. Campbell is correct then why should SJP be allowed to host Olympic football this summer? Over 100 fascists from EDL, NF, and North East Infidels marched on the Monument last Monday attacking progressive demonstrators in scuffles and with the throwing of bottles, coins, firecrackers, and homemade hand-bombs; leaving one lad hospitalised. The police described the fascist mobilisation to the BBC as being “largely peaceful”.
    (see http://tyneandwear.sky.com/news/article/22000)
    With the apparent rise of the far-right in both the North East and in Britain generally, maybe Sol also feels that we don’t deserve to hold such tournaments until we can show the world that we have “sorted OUR problems out”.

  • moggy

    uefa’s decision to have Russia playing in Poland seems strange? that was the draw, there was always going to be trouble in that game there is an historic hatred and with good reason, the decison to allow 5,000 Russians to march through Warsaw was the idotic one, what did they expect? it runs far deeper than football that hatred