Walcott's family to miss Euro 2012 for fear of racist attacks
Theo Walcott’s family have said they will not travel to Ukraine for Euro 2012 for fear of racist attacks.
The England winger’s brother Ashley tweeted on Tuesday that he and his father will be staying at home. “Unfortunately my dad n i have taken the decision not to travel to the Ukraine because of the fear of possible racist attacks confrontations,” he said.
“Something’s aren’t worth risking, but begs the question why hold a competition of this magnitude in a place that can not police itself for foreigners of any creed to feel safe, but I’ll be watching every minute.”
Roy Hodgson spoke of his concerns over the situation in Ukraine when he announced his squad for the tournament on yesterday (17 May). “The issue of racism, especially the Sky report into the hooliganism and violence in Ukraine, is an obvious concern,” he said. “Not least the supporters who go over there and risk maybe getting beaten up.”
Lord Herman Ouseley, chair of Kick It Out, said on the situation in the Ukraine: “It is up to the groups or individuals to balance out the pros and cons of going to the Ukraine. The best advice people can seek is that from the Foreign Office.”
The campaign has expressed its sympathy with Walcott’s family and revealed it has received concerns from supporters wishing to support the team in Ukraine.
Kick It Out is the UK member of the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) Network , which itself is working on a tournament wide monitoring programme to capture any incidents of abuse which can be reported to UEFA.
Official Foreign Office advice on travelling in the country states: “Foreign nationals have been the victims of violent crime in Kyiv and other major cities. In some cases attacks have been racially motivated. Travellers of Asian or Afro-Caribbean descent and individuals belonging to religious minorities should take extra care.”
From the Guardian