Euro-2012. The case of boycott hasn’t turned out well
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Euro-2012. The case of boycott hasn’t turned out well

Kiev : Ukraine | Aug 01, 2012 at 5:38 AM PDT
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The championship of Euro 2012 which holding was considered as the main historical mission of Ukraine and Poland of the current year has come to the end TRIUMPHANTLY. Visitors, fans, the first persons of states and the president of UEFA didn’t stint their nice comments and praises. I was lucky enough to visit this football holiday, and I’d like to share my impressions.

All planned events of the championship have been held successfully, without any serious problems. Fans could size up new stadiums and the high quality of organization of THIS EVENT. The safety was provided at the highest level. It was especially pleasant to see the work of the joint patrols of the Ukrainian and Spanish police keeping order in streets of Kiev on the day of cup final. The fans-zones and the basic tourist routes were full of volunteers providing in case of need gratuitous guidebooks and maps.

Summing up the championship’s results, the president of UEFA Michel Platini said that Ukraine and Poland had proved to the world community their ability to organize events of world significance. In his opinion, the Euro-2012 has been held triumphantly. “This championship, being the first one in the Eastern Europe, had REALLY BOFFO SUCCESS. It’s a real triumph. Ukraine and Poland have proved their capacity to organize such great event and absence of any problems related with it. The countries can be proud of the done work, their enthusiasm and the end result. I am really proud of them!» - said the president of UEFA.

To say the truth the beginning of the championship wasn’t so optimistic. Numerous charges, among others an awful infrastructure of cities and towns, low quality of service, and the overestimated prices for transport and houses, faced Ukraine and Poland before start! Constant mass-media accounts on an adverse political situation in Ukraine as well as calls of the European politicians to boycott the Ukrainian part of the championship have aggravated the situation.

However it is safe to say, that Euro-2012’s boycott hasn’t turned out well. For the period of this magnificent event political passions have ceased. In the first days of tournament, the political establishment of the Netherlands, at first supporting the idea of boycott, before a match of its national team declared the desire to support the command from terracing.

But who really boycotted the championship? Government officials of Austria and Belgium who had nothing to do here, as their national teams hadn’t reached the cup final. As far as concerned German chancellor A.Merkel, she was present at a match of a national football team in Gdansk, and promised to visit to Kiev, to support the national team if the Germany team reaches the cup final. But, unfortunately, the national team of Germany hasn’t reached it.

The discontent of the European officials was caused by legal proceedings on case of the ex-prime minister of Ukraine J.Timoshenko being considered by them as politically motivated. At the same time, there is no surprise and suspicions in political reason as to initiation of criminal case against the ex-president of France N.Sarkozi who is suspected of participation in the corruption scandal related with bribery to the high ranked officials and complicity in evasion from taxes. And it’s also possible to consider this case as paying off a score between political opponents in spite of the fact that France holds sacred the European democratic values and freedoms. By the way, a democratic Italy is still shocked with a scandal involved ex-prime minister S.Berluskoni. Thereupon it is worth to mention the investigation by the Belgian law enforcement bodies against the European commissioner Karel Lodewijk Georgette on charge of evasion from tax payment. In Europe the former state heads, after they lose elections and the high posts, are tried on charge of very “serious articles”. And there are no thoughts about political repressions… Therefore undivided attention of some European politicians to the internal situation in some countries, again, suggests about application of double standards. I think that internal state problems shouldn’t be used as the factor of political pressure, and affect the holding of international events, especially sports events created not to separate, but to unite people. It is clear, that each country has its own problems, but it isn’t an occasion to pay off a political score and to put pressure, organizing a boycott of sports event of the international importance.

Despite all complexities, Ukrainian fans have managed see the president of Italy Giorgio Napolitano, prime ministers of Italy and Spain Mario Monti and Mariano Rajoy, Felipe, Prince of Asturias with princess Letizia, Princess of Asturias, presidents of Tajikistan Emomalii Rahmon, Armenia Serzh Sargsyan, Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili and Poland Bronisław Komorowski to sit in the stands.

I’ve visited matches in Kiev, Donetsk, and Kharkov and there felt myself in full safety, though, I had some fears concerning my trip to Ukraine. I’ve read about problems in this country, but it failed. Having visited on the first matches, I together with my friends was surprised with false information provided by the European and British mass-media including that as to the alleged race discrimination in Ukraine. All was simply SUPER! Ukrainians are very affable and hospitable people. I ENJOYED good weather and feeling of unity flying in the atmosphere. The fans, stayed at home to watch the championship on TV, missed the most interesting, main - MAGNIFICENT ATMOSPHERE OF THIS HOLIDAY. Thanks to Euro-2012, the Europeans knowing about Poland not by hearsay opened Ukraine as civilized country, with a comfortable climate and hospitable people.

Certainly, it’s very pity that because of the political passions around the football championship many fans didn’t arrived to see tournament.

It is obvious, that internal state problems should not be used as the factor of political pressure, and affect the holding of international events, especially sports events created not to separate, but to unite people!!!

All was simply super! There were of course problems, but basically with language. However all tried to help. And in general it was cheerfully, great! I miss that atmosphere of freedom and solidarity! I am SO happy that I’ve risked and visited Ukraine. I’ve opened for myself this fine country, many affable and hospitable people. I can say FOR SURE, that I’ll this country again!

Katrin Schulze, Der Tagesspiegel

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katrin_schulze8 is based in Unknown, Unknown, Unknown, and is a Stringer on Allvoices.
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