BONN: European politicians, who have backed Michel Platini over his stance on Financial Fair Play and matchfixing, want something in return writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

A specialist group has written to UEFA’s president urging the leader of the European football federation to ensure the Ukrainian government does not use the Euro 2012 finals in June as a public relations vehicle.

The letter was signed by Elmar Brok, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, MEP Viola von Cramon (Germany), Walburga Habsburg Douglas (Swedish vice-president of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly), Michael Laubsch (president of the Eurasian Transition Group), MEP Charles Tannock and OSCE representative Matteo Mecacci.

The letter, written on behalf of the the Eurasian Transition Group, said: “We would like to ask you as the President of the UEFA not to close your eyes to what is happening in Ukraine. Please mention the issues of political suppression and injustice in public, talk about it with Ukrainian officials and the government.

“You represent the official and only European football organization, a sport that is not only challenging for the teams, but is also in general a part of the broader European idea.”

A central focus of concern has been the scandal surrounding jailed former Prime Minister and Opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko. A parliamentary report has accused Tymoshenko of ‘a personal interest’ in propelling state energy company Naftogaz into signing a gas contract with Russia’s Gazprom.

The report also suggested Tymoshenko might be considered to have infringed treason laws.

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