A year ahead the European Football Championship in Ukraine and Poland, a feminist group Femen warns the Euro 2012 is to boost already booming sex tourism in Ukraine. The worldwide known women rights activists, famous for their topless protests, request the UEFA and national authorities to take measures to prevent the upcoming “humanitarian catastrophe”. At the same time, the Euro 2012 organizing committee claims there is no connection between the championship and the sex tourism in Ukraine.
“They are interested only in the construction of stadiums and roads”, the Femen leader Anna Hutsol told the BBC Ukrainian, warning the so-far international experience shows that international football events, which take place in developing countries, certainly go with raising the level of sex tourism, prostitution, crime and epidemics.
However, the Euro 2012 organizing committee said sex tourism in Ukraine is not a matter of interest of UEFA or local managers.
“It is probably a social interest. But it was never discussed and analyzed in the connection of the tournament. We never had to deal with it. Never”, Markian Lubkivsky, Director of Euro-2012 in Ukraine, told the BBC Ukrainian.
Being asked to comment planned distribution of free condoms during the Euro 2012 matches in Poland, he said: “If for Poland that is the most important issue in the tournament preparation, we have other priorities”.
Femen repeatedly appealed to both UEFA and Ukrainian government to create a social program devoted to the problem of sex tourism and prostitution in Ukraine; to inform football fans that prostitution is illegal in Ukraine; and to develop visual decisions and slogan for the final Euro 2012 match to fight against prostitution and sex tourism. The group even crated their own Euro 2012 mascots, Blyadek and Blyadko, who simply "love sex, football and beer".