Last night the BBC broadcast a programme about overtly racist chanting and saluting by Polish and Ukrainian fans at soccer matches.
See the 16-minute portion pertaining to Ukraine here.
A spokesperson for the Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Oleh Voloshyn, today stated the BBC should apologise for the programme. He claimed 'the British side' has never officially protested about the racist displays by Ukrainian fans.
"I recently had discussions with an adviser at the British embassy on the matter of football. On the contrary, we talked about how to protect Ukrainians from British fans who are the most agressive, the most intolerant and racially predjudiced of all the fans in Europe," said Voloshyn.
He is talking with his head up his a***.
Anyone who attends matches in England [like your blogger] knows English football clubs strove to eliminate the despicable behaviour displayed in the BBC documentary a generation ago, and the UK was the first country to make a concerted effort to rid the game of racism.
Racist chanting or gesturing is almost never seen or heard at matches where about 20% of players are black. Any fan who dares descend to this level would be immediately dealt with and arrested.
Fans who misbehave at matches are banned, e.g. over 1000 supporters from the English Premier League had legally enforcible banning orders applied to them last season.
Volshyn's statement will not reasure any visitor to the Euros.
He should have declared: there will be zero-tolerance at Euro 2012 of racist behaviour, either by home fans or by visitors, and left it at that. His statements will merely dissuade even more England fans from travelling to Ukraine.