Steer clear of Euro 2012, warns former England defenders Sol Campbell
The former England defender Sol Campbell has warned fans to avoid travelling to Euro 2012 because of the threat of racism and violence.
He said that Uefa had been wrong to choose Poland and Ukraine to host the tournament as the decision put supporters in danger.
The former Arsenal and Tottenham defender told the BBC programme Panorama: "Stay at home, watch it on TV. Don't even risk it... because you could end up coming back in a coffin."
His warning came as the families of two black England players said they would not go to Euro 2012. The brother of midfielder Theo Walcott tweeted that he and his father would not be flying out to support the star because of "possible racist attacks".
And Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's family have shelved plans to see their 18-year-old son play in Ukraine and Poland because of safety concerns.
The BBC documentary, screened tonight, investigates violence and racism at football matches in the host countries. It contains footage of fans giving the Nazi salute, taunting black players with monkey noises, anti-Semitic chants and a group of Asian students being attacked at the Metalist Stadium, Kharkiv, one of the venues hosting matches in Ukraine.
Campbell said: "Uefa were wrong, because what they should say is that if you want this tournament you sort your problems out. You do not deserve these prestigious tournaments."
Nick Lowles, from the UK-based anti-racist group Hope Not Hate, said: "The positive thing about English football is that, increasingly, black and Asian fans have been travelling to support England and I am concerned that they will be targeted by racists, fascists and anti-Semites in Poland and Ukraine."
Uefa said in a statement: " Uefa's zero-tolerance approach to racism is still valid both on and off the pitch and, ultimately, the referee has the power to stop or abandon a match should racist incidents occur."
Latest in Sport
Monaco is a street circuit where driver ability is more important than anywhere else and if we take ...
by Gareth Purnell
24 May 2013 02:00 AM
Three weeks ago as I drove off the Eurostar, I remember thinking what a very long time it was until ...
by Martin Ayres
23 May 2013 05:29 PM
McDowell did brilliantly to land the World Match Play title in Bulgaria last week, but it’s a format...
by Gareth Purnell
23 May 2013 09:13 AM
David Moyes delighted after Rio Ferdinand agrees to stay at Manchester United with new one-year contract
On-loan goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois still believes in Chelsea youth policy
After racist remark, Sergio Garcia fights for reputation as Tiger Woods slams 'hurtful' fried chicken joke
Manuel Pellegrini must decide on futures of Carlos Tevez, Gareth Barry and Joleon Lescott as Manchester City name starting date for new manager
Liverpool striker Andy Carroll delays over West Ham move
- 1 Man and woman arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder victim of Woolwich machete attack, named as Drummer Lee Rigby
- 2 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
- 3 Grace Dent: I’m not sure how these people can avoid being called ‘bigots’. And the more ‘civilised’, the worse they are
- 4 Woolwich murder: They killed, then they performed - these men should be starved of our attention
- 5 Woolwich attack: The EDL will seek to exploit this evil crime for their own evil ends
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.