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Ukraine blasts appeals to boycott Euro 2012 as destructive

May 04, 2012, 3:55 UTC+3
The Foreign Ministry sees as destructive attempts to politicize sports events
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KIEV, May 4 (Itar-Tass) — The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said in its statement on Thursday that appeals to boycott the 2012 UEFA European Championship in Ukraine are destructive.

“The Foreign Ministry sees as destructive attempts to politicize sports events, which from ancient times have played an important role in the process of building inter-state mutual understanding and unity,” the ministry statement said.

“Appeals to boycott the championship will in practice mean a blow to the image of a grandiose sports event and will harm the interests of millions of rank-and-file Ukrainians who vote for different parties or are not interested in politics at all,” the statement stressed.

The Foreign Ministry also emphasized that successful hosting of the championship will be a victory of not concrete political activists, parties or ideologies, but of all Ukrainian and Polish people, while a failure - will be a defeat of millions of citizens, a blow to UEFA’s bid to expand the geography of big football outside rich western European countries.

The Foreign Ministry notes that the Ukrainian and Polish people, who jointly won the right to host the final part of the championship, have exerted great effort and did tremendous job necessary for hosting the tournament in a proper manner.

“Those who seek to make Euro 2012 a target don’t contribute to reform of the Ukrainian judicial system and don’t help to strengthen democratic institutions and the supremacy of law in Ukraine,” it stressed. These issues objectively belong to a sphere different from a football festival, “which in its essence is beyond politics and cannot be used for solving political tasks,” the report said.

“An attack on a big dream undermines the chance of not only Poland and Ukraine, but all other former socialist states to prove that in their economic, human and scientific potentials they are ready to evolve from debtors of Europe into new engines of its development,” the statement stressed.

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