LONDON: Sol Campbell, the former England captain and World Cup defender, is advising England fans – particularly from black and Asian backgrounds – to stay away from Ukraine at Euro 2012 for fear of racism and violence.
The families of Arsenal forwards Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have already said they will give the tournament a miss for fear of racist abuse.
Campbell, in a BBC Panorama propramme, questioned the decision of European federation UEFA to award the tournament to joint hosts Ukraine and Poland after seeing footage taken by the programme that shows racist and anti-Semitic chanting in the terraces and an attack on a group of Asian students that took place in Ukraine.
He said: “Stay at home, watch it on TV. Don’t even risk it . . . because you could end up coming back in a coffin.”
In a statement, UEFA responded that the footage was taken at domestic matches and is a matter for the national football authorities in each country.
As to Euro 2012, Uefa said the tournament will bring the spotlight on the host countries and creates an opportunity to address and confront issues such as racism.
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