Should Euro 2012 be boycotted?

Before I start writing this post I’ll tell you a bit about why I’ve started this category and why I’ve waited until now to start it! My grandparents are Ukrainian and I’ve been brought up as Ukrainian, until I was around 5 years old I could only speak Ukrainian because that was the only language my parents spoke to me. My parents were born in England and so was I so that makes me 3rd generation Ukrainian. I still try to speak Ukrainian (as best I can) and I’m part of the Ukrainian Youth Association. So, why did I choose to start this category? Well, I’ve been meaning to start it for a fair few months now, the first time I starting thinking about it was probably when Tymoshenko was arrested but unfortunately due to University work I’ve not been able to. Now that my first year at university is drawing to a close I have more time to write this blog.

Today’s blog post is all about Euro 2012 and if minister from different countries should boycott the part of the competition that will be held in Ukraine. In recent days there have been a few political people who have said they are considering boycotting the matches in Ukraine. Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, is one of those people as well as the Austrian government.

Political situation in Ukraine:

  • Widespread corruption in the government and the police.
  • Humans rights are abused.
  • Unfair and flawed judicial system.
  • Journalists are harassed.
  • Right to protest freely are continuously curtailed.
Why should ministers boycott Euro 2012?
The imprisonment of Yulia Tymoshenko and the abuse she has received in prison. She has been on hunger strike for roughly 2 weeks now and on Friday May 4th German doctors The Guardian posted this article:
“The doctors concluded that she was suffering from intense pain and needed urgent treatment in a specialist clinic. Tymoshenko’s family said she was suffering from a herniated disc in her back.”
While in prison she has been beaten and many people think that her recent injuries and pain are as a result of those beatings. These are some pictures that were released a few weeks ago.

With 31 days to go until Euro 2012 starts it is time to take action. I’m not saying that national teams should boycott the competition because it’s too late to do that…and plus, I doubt the fans would like that. Ministers from the European countries that are taking part in the competition should openly say that they will not attend the football matches being played in Ukraine, like German Chancellor Angela Merkel. They should also say why they aren’t going to attend. The more people that do this, the more it hurts the Ukrainian government, Yanukovych and also raises awareness about Tymoshenko and how she has been treated while in prison. It will also send a message to the Ukrainian people which will show them that other countries do actually care…unlike the Ukrainian government. By not attending the games that will be played in Ukraine the european ministers will effectively stop/stall Yanukovych’s chance to get photo opportunities with them and prevent the Ukrainian authorities from using the competition as PR/propaganda opportunities.

As for the Euro 2012 final, which happens on July 1st…I believe it SHOULD be moved to Warsaw. As a big football fan myself I would love for Ukraine to hold the final in the capital, Kyiv, but with everything that has been going on in Ukraine with Tymoshenko, I believe it would be better to have it held in Warsaw. This will send a direct message to the Ukrainian Government saying that no one wants to be affiliated with them.


Sources and other useful links:

  1. Great post Myroslava. I look forward to reading more in the future

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