Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Final report on racism and violence at Euro 2012

This report was published in Searchlight, No. 445 (August 2012), pp. 30-31.

Racism and violence at Euro 2012
By Anton Shekhovtsov

THE EURO 2012 TOURNAMENT started on 8 June amid fears of racism and hooliganism in Poland and Ukraine. The BBC Panorama programme “Stadiums of Hate” presumably contributed the most to the spread of these fears, with Sol Campbell stating that the two countries did not “deserve these prestigious tournaments” and telling English fans to avoid travelling to Ukraine and Poland “because you could end up coming back in a coffin”. However, a fortnight before the Euro 2012 final, a number of England fans in the Ukrainian city Donetsk carried a coffin painted with a St George’s Cross and the words: “You’re wrong Campbell”. As my observations revealed, Campbell was wrong indeed at least as regards Ukraine, as not one racist incident involving Ukraine fans was reported during the tournament.