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Dutch Euro 2012 squad face ‘monkey chants’ in Poland

08/06/2012

The captain of the Dutch national team says his players were subjected to racial abuse at a training session in the Polish city of Krakow this week, just days before the Euro 2012 football tournament was due to begin in Poland and Ukraine.

Several hundred people reportedly targeted black members of the squad with “monkey chants” during an open session Wednesday at the Stadion Miejski, the home of Wisla Krakow.

“It is a real disgrace especially after getting back from Auschwitz [the Dutch squad had visited the concentration camp on Wednesday] that you are confronted with this,” Mark Van Bommel, the Dutch captain, told a press conference late Thursday.

When questioned over the incident by Dutch journalists who claimed they did not hear the abuse, Van Bommel replied: “You need to open your ears. If you did hear it, and don’t want to hear it, that is even worse,” according to ESPN.
—Read full story here.

Euro 2012 hosts Ukraine and Poland have told CNN World Sport a documentary accusing football fans from both nations of racism was “unbalanced and biased.”

An investigation by UK television channel the BBC featured right-wing supporters from both countries displaying racist and anti-Semitic attitudes.

Footage also appeared to show soccer fans at a match in Ukraine targeting Asian supporters with violence.

Former England defender Sol Campbell warned fans not to travel to Poland or Ukraine after seeing the pictures and questioned why both countries were awarded the tournament in the first place.
Euro 2012 hosts Ukraine and Poland hit back at racism accusations

Poland’s first black footballer says blacks are safe at Euro 2012
Poland’s first black footballer said blacks can feel safe at Euro 2012 and repudiated comments from former English captain Sol Campbell, who said blacks should avoid the games or risk “coming back in a coffin,” local media reported Tuesday.

“I can’t speak for Ukraine, but Sol Campbell can feel save along the Wisla (river in Warsaw),” Emmanuel Olisadebe told the Polish edition of Newsweek.

The Nigerian-born striker Olisadebe played for Poland’s national team between 2000 and 2004.

But racist incidents in Polish stadiums are not uncommon: Black footballers have had bananas thrown at them in recent years, while in November fans of Warsaw Legia unfurled a “Jihad” banner against an Israeli team.

Last year in Rzeszow, southern Poland, fans unfurled a banner reading, “Death to the hook-noses,” with a drawing of a caricature of a Jew.

Olisadebe himself had bananas thrown in his direction 12 years ago, but says he received apologies later and the incident was not repeated.

Well, maybe Bonjasky, Overeem & Co. should go to the matches too, just in case.

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