Wednesday, May 30, 2012

(Opinion) who would be EURO 2012 host Nation ?

While there are expected pressures when playing host to a major football tournament, Ukraine couldn't have expected the amount of pressure put on them.Ukraine has been especially targeted for serious pressure as their racist hooliganism problem has been bought into the light thanks to a classic expose from the flagship BBC programme panorama where former England defender Sol Campbell warned fans to stay away as the chance of being attacked were likely.

However their problems were mounting some time before the programme when the families of two black England players stated their intention not to attend the championship matches in Ukraine for fear of attack and the UK foreign office put out a press statement basically insisting British citizens of Black and Asian descent to watch their back, front and sides.

Questions over whether they actually host the event have worsened with extra  spotlight lent to the political dynamic in the country the current leader of Ukraine is publicly trying to bury his predecessor which has led to calls for a boycott of the tournament, which can explain the relatively large surplus of tickets that have not been purchased.

This is made worse as  fellow hosting nation Poland have a much more stable political dynamic and are members of the EU despite football hooliganism being arguably worse in Poland than it is in Ukraine. While Ukraine's problems pitch side are being held to scrutiny, the pluses of hosting an event of this size in Ukraine  are being overlooked. Ukraine has failed in selling its fantastic culture, cities and its strong footballing tradition with their clubs regularly competing with the best Europe has to offer, which is more than could be said for World Cup 2022 hosts Qatar.

In sum, Ukraine's problems with regards to racist and violent football hooliganism is no secret and a number of nations attending the event have a similar problem, some even on a greater scale. The concern over Ukraine political dynamic is worth noting but it should not overshadow the pluses of hosting this great football event in a football mad nation.

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