Oxlade-Chamberlain's family to stay away from championship


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The Independent Online

The relatives of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have become the latest of the England player families to decide not to travel to Ukraine for Euro 2012 because of fears black and Asian fans could be targeted by the violent racist fans that blight Ukrainian football.

Oxlade-Chamberlain, 18, is the youngest member of the squad and his father Mark Chamberlain is a former England international himself who won eight caps for his country in the 1980s. However, the Chamberlains, like the family of Theo Walcott, have decided not to travel to watch England's three group games in the light of recent warnings from the Foreign Office.

The Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott said yesterday that his family would also not be travelling to the tournament this summer, although they might make an exception if England were to reach the final. Lescott said his family made the decision before the warnings about safety in the finals. "With my family, it's not the same as with Theo's and Alex's family," Lescott said.

"It's not a case of them not wanting to go. We've just not spoken about them coming... it's a shame for some members of the squad that their families feel they can't go and obviously it's a situation that needs to be addressed."

There have been instances of England fans with Afro-Caribbean or Asian heritage who have already bought tickets deciding not to travel in the light of the travel advice and recent investigations by Sky Sports into the scale of the hooligan problem.

Lescott said: "It is a shame we are talking about it but I think we always will be. You can't get rid of it from people's minds. It is a touchy subject for some people to talk about. But if you address it pretty early I don't think it will be a problem."