The European cup, much like the Olympics, is a nice way of sneakily getting lots of funding for a country that usually cant find it for itself. So it was of no surprise to me that this Summer’s European cup was to be held in both the Ukraine and Poland (two of Europe’s most resource rich countries). This is a way to get lots of money into a country without the need to go through official channels. This may sound a rather shady practice but this is required to pave the way for the Ukraine entrance into the European union. Poland was granted entry in 2004 thanks to its liberal agenda but the Ukraine has never had a liberal agenda and in many cases has maintained a soviet style government following the collapse of the soviet union in 1989.
Which brings us to the main point of this article, the Ukraine has one of the worse human rights records in Europe (second only to Belarus) and with the up coming tournament being such a political tool for the Ukrainian government, British ministers have decided to boycott the Ukrainian half of the event. They claim this is because of the Ukraine poor human rights record, while ministers were doing this half arsed announcement as a way of getting some good press they were quick to show their support for the England team. Hey, we wouldn’t want football fans upset would we? They might not vote for us. I say this is half arsed because of course we’re quite happy to attack Ukraine, a country with whom we have no political claims, trading partnerships or any ties of any kind with but we are quite happy to let China and America murder thousands in the name of economic progress.
To be fair though, England is not the only country taking part in this boycott with most of the big European countries taking part. This is due to the current Ukrainian government treatment of the opposition member, who is currently interned in jail. He was thrown in jail last year and many of his supporters claim that this is a show trial.
A statement released by his department today said: “The Government fully supports England’s participation in Euro 2012. We hope this is a successful tournament for the England team, the fans and the people of Ukraine and Poland.
“No ministers will be attending group games at Euro 2012. 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.”
Shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander said: “The case of Yulia Tymoshenko casts a real shadow over Ukraine. The circumstances of her trial and the treatment she is receiving in custody are matters of grave concern that must be immediately addressed.”
Do you agree that ministers should boycott the European cup?