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 Uefa report details hate crime in Euro 2012 hosts Poland and Ukraine - 01/04/2011

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PostSubject: Uefa report details hate crime in Euro 2012 hosts Poland and Ukraine - 01/04/2011   Sat 02 Apr 2011, 19:35

Uefa report details hate crime in Euro 2012 hosts Poland and Ukraine - 01/04/2011

Source : Guardian.co.uk

Nearly 200 serious hate crimes detailed in report
Michel Platini promises 'zero tolerance' at Euro 2012

A Uefa-sponsored investigation has uncovered nearly 200 serious hate crimes at recent football matches in Poland and Ukraine, heightening fears that the 2012 European Championship finals could be marred by racist incidents.

The report, which was compiled by the Uefa-sponsored East European Monitoring Centre, discloses disturbances including antisemitic chants and banners, hooligans abusing their own team's black players and violent attacks against anti-racist groups.

The report will be released on Sunday, 15 months before the two countries host Euro 2012 and a week after an international match between Poland and Lithuania ended with clashes between supporters and police. There have been 133 reported incidents in Poland over the 18 months, according to the report, 56 of which related to the open display of racist or fascist symbols.

In March 2010, at a first division match between Polonia Warszawa and Arka Gdynia, hooligans unfurled one banner featuring a Totenkopf skull and crossbones symbol identical to that used by the Nazi SS, and displayed another which read: "Stop Islamizacji Europy" ("Stop Islamisation of Europe").

Black players in Poland have experienced hostility at many grounds and there have been 20 reported "anti-black" hate crimes, according to the report. Supporters of Lechia Gdansk demanded last year that the Brazilian Luiz Carlos Santos Deleu be the last black player at the club, according to the report.

There were 36 reported antisemitic incidents at Polish football matches. One of the most shocking took place during a third division derby between Stal Rzeszow and Resovia Rzeszow. Resovia fans exhibited a giant banner showing a silhouette of a man wearing a characteristic yarmulke in the blue and white colours of Israel. Another banner was displayed above the caricature, carrying the words: "Death to hook noses".

While Ukraine has had fewer 62 serious hate crimes reported at football matches, it has seen some of the most violent incidents. In August 2010, around 30 Arsenal Kyiv supporters, known for their left-leaning views, were attacked by 50 neo-Nazi fans of Dynamo Kyiv. The attackers shouted "Heil Hitler" and "white power" and an Arsenal Kyiv fan was stabbed three times in the back. Others suffered multiple injuries.

Uefa's director of Euro 2012, Martin Kallen, told a conference last week that Polish fans have a "huge image problem".

"What we saw at last Friday's match [between Poland and Lithuania] was not a very good picture to see that happening in a stadium. We and the Polish government are concerned. They are taking this seriously and will have changes in the next month."

After Poland's friendly in Lithuania 60 fans were detained after bottles, flares and benches were thrown at police. The Uefa president, Michel Platini, said in October that hooligans would be treated with "zero tolerance" at Euro 2012.

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Uefa report details hate crime in Euro 2012 hosts Poland and Ukraine - 01/04/2011

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