29 May 2012

UK fans advised to take extra care at tournament

4:59 am on 29 May 2012

The British government is advising football fans of Asian or Afro-Carribean ethnicity, who are heading to Ukraine for the Euro 2012 football tournament, they might be the subject of rascist attacks and to take extra care.

Video footage shot by the BBC's Panorama programme at recent matches there and in the other host country, Poland, shows several incidents of racist abuse and violence.

Panorama spent a month filming at matches in both the joint host nations and witnessed Nazi salutes from the terraces, black players being taunted with monkey chants, rampant anti-Semitism and a vicious assault on a group of Asian students.

On 14 April at the Metalist stadium in Kharkiv in Ukraine - one of the host cities for Euro 2012 - 2000 fans in the terraces gave the Nazi salute to their team.

Some fans at the match between two of Ukraine's biggest teams told the BBC that they were saying "Sieg Heil" because Hitler hated "Jews and blacks" and that is how they support their team.

Panorama also filmed matches in Poland, recording a chorus of anti-Semitic chanting and witnessing black football players enduring monkey chants from the terraces.

In a statement, UEFA said the scenes filmed by the BBC were at domestic matches and were a matter for national football authorities.