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."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border