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Entries in Euro Cup (2)

Tuesday
Jun122012

Russian and Polish Fans Break into Violence Before Euro Match

CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/GettyImages(WARSAW, Poland) -- A violent brawl broke out Tuesday between Russian and Polish soccer fans shortly before the two teams met at the Euro 2012 match in Warsaw.  

Polish police used rubber bullets and water cannons in an attempt to control the violence, which led to more than 100 arrests and at least 11 people requiring medical attention, according to The Guardian.

What seemed to have been the most violent confrontation Tuesday was triggered by a planned march by Russian fans to the National Stadium to celebrate the country's declaration of state sovereignty. The fans had obtained permission and police protection prior to the march -- an indication that clashes may have been expected.

Many Poles still place blame with the Russians for what happened to them after World War II, when the Soviet Union occupied the country.

Police asked that Russian fans remain seated for 20 minutes after the game's final whistle, fearing that more violence would ensue, The Guardian reported.  Still some fighting continued as fans departed the stadium.

The match between Russia and Poland ended in a draw, with a final score of 1-1.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
May142012

Mixing Sport and Politics? Countries Threaten to Boycott Euro Cup

SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/GettyImages(BRUSSELS, Belgium) -- Outrage over Ukraine’s treatment of an opposition leader has sparked calls in Europe to do the unthinkable: boycott Europe’s biggest soccer tournament. What was supposed to be Ukraine’s coming-out party may now turn into its biggest embarrassment.
 
European leaders met in Brussels Monday to debate whether to shun this year’s Euro Cup, which Ukraine and Poland will jointly host in less than a month, over Kiev’s mistreatment of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
 
Tymoshenko, the photogenic blonde opposition leader who helped spark the 2004 Orange Revolution, was convicted last year of abusing her office and sentenced to seven years in jail. Many in the West decried the trial as politically motivated. Authorities responded by doubling down with more charges. Though Tymoshenko is popular in the West and has a significant following in Ukraine, it has been said that the jailed political leader is no angel and has been accused of questionable practices and dealings before.
 
Tymoshenko went on a long hunger strike after she said prison guards beat her in jail last month. Her daughter Eugenia said she was very ill and had been denied proper medical care.
 
As a result, several countries have already threatened to pull out. Some have said they just won’t send any political leaders to attend the matches. Others are suggesting they not send their national teams. Even the opposition in co-host Poland have suggested Ukraine isn’t fit to host the games. From jail, Tymoshenko has asked that political leaders not attend, but she very much would like the teams to come and the games go on as planned.
 
The growing diplomatic row has already stung. Ukraine had to cancel plans for a regional summit last this week after a number of leaders said they wouldn’t attend in protest.
 
Organizers had hoped these games would showcase progress in eastern Europe since the end of the Cold War, but they may instead be shedding light on the fact that old school strongman politics are alive and well in this part of the world. Some have worried, however, that such a move will only drive Ukraine closer to Moscow.
 
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio