Human rights violations vs Football Nationalism at Euro 2012. What’s more important? Well, that will depend on whether your team wins or not, it appears.
This week, senior members of British Parliament announced they would not attend any Euro 2012 games to protest over Ukraine’s treatment of Yulia Tymoshenko, a former prime minister of Ukraine who was jailed for seven years last year after what was widely seen as a sham trial to silence her. In April, she staged a hunger strike after accusing prison guards of assaulting her.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague said that no ministers would be attending any of England’s three group games, saying they have “widespread concerns about selective justice and the rule of law in Ukraine.” Today, Princes William and Harry, second and third in line to the British throne, also announced that they would be boycotting the games over concerns about Tymoshenko.
However, the Foreign office also stated that should England reach the quarterfinals, they would “review their position”. Given that both of England’s quarter final games would also take place in the Ukraine, it seems that taking a stand over human rights only goes so far in the face of the footy.
Aleksandr Osipov on Flickr