The decision to hand the event to Ukraine and Poland seemed a strange one for a number of reasons including the racism shown on Panaroma. However the availability of accommodation and the ability for fans to follow their teams round are also issues that have not been handled as well as they might. That said the likelihood is that during the event the number of 'incidents' were be lower as i) the grounds will be full of travelling fans; and ii) the policing and stewarding will take on a different stance during an international event such as the Euros (opposed to domestic games where it is sadly apparently expected and accepted).
Do not get me wrong the scenes shown on the Panaroma programme are deplorable in any cultured society and I in no way condone them. There is an argument that the only way to tackle such a problem is by facing it head on and showing to everyone that it is not acceptable and should any incident occur during the Euros it is likely to be met with international condemnation which will provoke a response. One of the most worrying aspects of the programme was the apparent stance of the police that it was not happening.
I am due to be attending the England v Ukraine game in Donetsk with a close friend and hope that the games show the warmth and hospitality that was on display in South Africa, another venue that received negative publicity prior to the tournament.
UEFA have said that the referee has the power to take the players off the pitch if racist actions occur and while I do not want things to reach this level I do think that more severe punishments must be handed out to individuals, clubs and governing bodies when racism rears its ugly head.
I will be covering the Spanish National Team in Gdansk this summer at Euro 2012 for MotivaGoal Sports Media. Looking to connect with other sports media and sportsbiz professionals. Feel free to add me as contact in order to network and exchange ideas and information. Best regards,
MotivaGoal Sports Media
It seems there's cause for concern. Six out of the eight stadiums that will be used are newly-built and there were some questions raised about whether the safety inspections have been thorough enough.
Earlier this year UEFA decided that the redeveloped stadium in Poznan can only operate at half of its total capacity because of safety issues and because the stands are so steep the grass doesn't get enough sunlight and has to be replaced regularly.
Platini seems confident that the stadiums will be ready but could the stadiums have been better designed?
rioferdy5 Rio Ferdinand
Just getting ready to fly to Washington....a tired morning it seems, the coach is unusually quiet! 1 more game vs barca + its home time!
Here's a good answer from Rio Ferdinand - the pre-season friendlies are obviously lucrative but exhausting for players..