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Euro 2012 in Brief: Russians 'don't scare' Poles; Racism 'rare'; Germany charged over paper balls

Piszczek: Russians don't scare us

Russia's fine start at Euro 2012 has not scared co-hosts Poland.

The Russians poured on the attack against the Czech Republic in their opening Group A match, winning 4-1, while Poland were held to a 1-1 draw by Greece.

"Russia are the favourites of the group, there's no doubt," the Poland defender Lukasz Piszczek said, two days before the game in Warsaw.

"They showed why against the Czechs, but we're not going to fold. The whole [Russian] team is strong, but we are playing at home. We aren't afraid of the Russians."

Racism rare but present so far

Reaction to the racism issue at Euro 2012 has been mixed in Ukraine. Local anti-racism campaigner Maksym Butkevych said: "Fears have been exaggerated. My colleagues do not predict any increase of racist violence in Ukraine during the European Championship."

Emeka Ogbonna, an African-American fan in Kiev for the finals, agreed that "it has been overblown", but Sudanese fan Omar, who lives in the Russian city of Kazan, said he had been abused on the streets of Kiev the previous day and called for better "education on race matters".

Fans' paper balls earn Uefa charge

Uefa has charged Germany for the conduct of its fans after crumpled paper balls were thrown at Portugal players during their first group game on Saturday evening. A stadium announcement warned that the team would be punished if fans continued the barrage from the stands. Portugal have also been charged for being late out for the second half in Lviv. Both teams may face financial penalties. Uefa's disciplinary panel will deal with the cases this Thursday.