Ukraine envoy 'regrets' UK move on Euro 2012

Ukraine's ambassador to London on Friday criticised a decision by British ministers not to attend group stage games of Euro 2012 because of concerns about "selective justice" in Ukraine.

"As far as that being a reason for not attending, this is something I don't understand since I believe that sport and politics, they don't mix," Volodymyr Khandogiy told BBC radio ahead of the tournament's first game.

"I definitely regret that they had chosen not to go and support at least morally their team in Ukraine."

In a statement Thursday, Britain's Foreign Office said ministers would not attend the group stages.

"We are keeping attendance at later stages of the tournament under review in the light of ministers' busy schedules ahead of the Olympics and widespread concerns about selective justice and the rule of law in Ukraine," said a spokeswoman.

England have been drawn in Group D -- being contested in Ukraine -- along with the hosts, France and Sweden.

Khandogiy said Friday, "I would say that there are plenty of opportunities and plenty of fora and formats where we can discuss those issues, actually, which we do in the Council of Europe, the European Union...

"We are ready to continue those discussions, we are ready to accept criticisms but we would like to put our perspective on those issues as well."

Anger is running high across Europe over the treatment of jailed Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko.

Other governments have put pressure on Ukraine, co-hosts of the 2012 European Championships along with Poland, whose team takes on Greece in the opening match later Friday.

"The Tymoshenko case is still in the judicial domain. It's not yet over," Khandogiy said.

Tymoshenko has appealed against her seven-year jail term on charges of abuse of power, and there are also concerns for her health.

Paris announced last month that the French cabinet would boycott Euro 2012 matches in Ukraine in protest at her treatment.

European Union commissioners will not attend games in Ukraine and the German development minister has also cancelled his planned visit on human rights concerns.

Kiev has also faced claims there is a risk of racism and violence from far-right gangs.

A BBC documentary last month showed footage of Polish and Ukrainian fans making Nazi salutes and monkey chants. It also uncovered cases of anti-Semitism and a serious assault on a group of Asian students.

Khandogiy labelled the programme "biased and unfair" and urged that fans be allowed to attend matches in Ukraine before judging its society.

"I would say that let us wait and see and let us wait for those people who will go to Ukraine... they will go there, they will enjoy the tournament and they will come back, and let us ask them what their feelings were," he said.

He acknowledged instances of "intolerable behaviour" but said specific cases should be investigated rather than "generalise about the problem".

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • EU threatens Thailand with seafood ban over illegal fishing
    EU threatens Thailand with seafood ban over illegal fishing

    BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union has given Thailand six months to drastically crack down on illegal and unregulated fishing or face an EU seafood import ban, but has lifted the threat of similar action against South Korea and the Philippines. …

  • Philippines accuses China of turning water cannon on its fishing boats

    Filipino activists denounced China's coast guard on Tuesday for turning water cannon on Philippine fishing boats in disputed waters, near where hundreds of Filipino and American Marines landed on a beach in a mock assault. The presidential palace in Manila said China's coast guard used water cannon on Monday to drive away a group of Filipino fishermen at Scarborough Shoal, damaging some of their wooden boats. …

  • Image of Asia: Training to storm a beach in the Philippines
    Image of Asia: Training to storm a beach in the Philippines

    In this photo by Bullit Marquez, a U.S. Navy amphibious assault vehicle with Philippine and U.S. troops on board storms the beach during a joint exercise at the Naval Education and Training Command center in Zambales province, northwest of Manila. The Zambales shore faces the disputed Scarborough Shoal, where Chinese vessels were reported to have driven away Filipino fishermen with a water cannon and seized some of their catch in early April. Philippine military officials say the maneuvers with …

  • Pinoy team wins global disaster preparedness competition

    The Philippines was one of the big winners at the 2015 Global Innovation Competition last week for a cloud-based information system for disaster. The project, called "Balangay," is the brainchild of cousins Frei Sangil and Paolo Sangil. …

  • How Asia uses Bitcoin in one color-coded map
    How Asia uses Bitcoin in one color-coded map

    Bitcoin is a global phenomenon, but not everyone around the world uses it in the same way. Here in Asia, the way a person from the Philippines uses bitcoin is probably very different from how it’s used in Thailand, and both are very different from the typical user in Taiwan. Despite bitcoin being hailed as …

  • Pacmania sweeps Philippines ahead of Mayweather clash
    Pacmania sweeps Philippines ahead of Mayweather clash

    Manny Pacquiao's face is on shirts, dolls and postage stamps, his life story is playing in movie houses and millions are getting ready to party as the Philippine boxing hero's "fight of the century" nears. Pacmania is sweeping the Southeast Asian nation of 100 million people ahead of the May 2 Las Vegas bout against unbeaten Floyd Mayweather to decide who is the best boxer of their generation. Of course, it's the fight of the century," Manila film producer Lucky Blanco told AFP. …

  • Manila 'cute little submissive' of US: China media
    Manila 'cute little submissive' of US: China media

    The Philippines is nothing more than the "cute little submissive" of the United States, a Chinese tabloid with close ties to the ruling Communist Party said on Tuesday, criticising Manila for military exercises with Washington. The English-language editorial came a day after the Philippines launched giant 10-day war games with the US and Australia, partly aimed as a warning shot to Beijing amid competing claims in the South China Sea, home to vital shipping routes. "Of all the countries …

  • Philippines seeks more military aid from US to counter China
    Philippines seeks more military aid from US to counter China

    The Philippines said Tuesday it would soon ask the United States for more military equipment and training to build its defences, as it faces Chinese "aggressiveness" in disputed waters. As hundreds of Filipino and American Marines simulated an amphibious assault to reclaim territory from invaders during annual war games, military chief General Gregorio Catapang told AFP he was drafting a "wish list" for US aid. Catapang said the Philippines would ask for "equipment and training", when Foreign …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options