In the discussion thread: BBC Panorama - Euro 2012 - Stadiums Of Hate (WTF?) [View all]
Response to tabatha (Original post)
Tue May 29, 2012, 02:26 PM
Pavlovs_Dog (5 posts)
17. Sensationalist report
I am originally from Ukraine, Jewish, have been back several time and planning to go again soon for the Euro 2012.
While there is a grain of truth to the BBC report, it is mostly overblown, sensationalist, "let's be scared of Eastern Europe" kind of job. The "Ultras" shown in the report represent 0.00001% of the population and a small fringe of even the stadium-goers. The ones who start fights are degenerates who have nothing better to do and are more likely to attend their mediocre club team's games just for the "gang"/hooliganism aspect and are not even likely to show up to the actual Euro matches.
I have been to the World Cup in Germany in '06. Germany also has a neo-nazi, xenophobia problem, especially in former Eastern Germany, and football hooliganism, yet I barely saw any of those characters in my 3 weeks travelling there and they weren't the kind of fans who actually attended the WC games.
Someone suggested they should have never given the tournament to Ukraine/Poland & rather have it in Italy, England, or Germany. Really? Have you seen Lazio fans in Rome? Their whole team's support revolves around Mussolini and neo-fascism. Not to mention the non-ending bribery and corruption scandals their FA is having. And England? They make this documentary, yet what about riots that they had last year or that they're the birthplace of hooliganism? We're actually more afraid of drunk British fans at the Euro than anyone else. Also, Russia will host the WC in 2018 but they have worse football hooliganism and xenophobia. We'd pretty much have to limit the tournament hosting to Scandinavian countries if we follow this logic
In any case, if BBC really wanted to affect UEFA, why not make this documentary 3-4 years ago when something could have been changed? This tournament is less than 2 weeks away and they want fans and UEFA to drop everything NOW? After Ukraine/Poland have passed all the other hurdles like building stadiums, hotels, renovating airports, trains, etc.. This is nothing more than a scare tactic or jealousy from England that they've been getting shafted from hosting Euros or WCs for a number of years because of their fan problems.
Look, I am not dismissing that there is a hate-crime/xenophobia problem that exists and is not being dealt with as needed by police, and I was very outspoken on other forums that it needs to be addressed and police culture there needs to change. However, the overwhelming majority of Ukrainians (especially in Kiev & Lvov) are very educated, very welcoming of guests, very interested in meeting visitors from other countries and helping them. There is a bad apple though once in a while, especially those stupid kids, that they focussed on in the video. It would be like focussing on rednecks and KKK, or high urban crime rates in some cities and saying "Don't visit US! You'll get shot!". By that logic, World Cup should never have been hosted here in '94?
I'm sure Ukraine & Poland will do a great job. People there look forward to welcoming guests (maybe not drunk English hooligans so much) and showing the beauty and hospitality of both countries. It will be a great and safe tournament. If you sat home and watched Fox news all day you'd be afraid to step out of your home too, right?
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