The spirit in which last night's final was played will inevitably colour assessments of Euro 2012. But a preliminary judgement must be that the tournament panned off not only better, but much better, than widely forecast.
And two of the chief fears – that there would be overt racism among crowds in Poland, but especially in Ukraine, of the sort now mostly banished in the rest of Europe, and that the facilities and organisation would not be up to scratch – were for the most part mercifully absent. In fact, some of the most egregious racism originated with tweeters in the UK, after England's defeat by Italy in a penalty shoot-out.
With the successful Euro 2012 under its belt, Ukraine, it must now be hoped, will take another look at the state of its own politics and how it measures up to the Europe it still aspires to join. Reconsidering the prosecution and imprisonment of the former Prime Minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, must be part of that.Reuse content