Euro 2012 - Ambassador critical of UK ministers' boycott

Thu, 07 Jun 17:23:00 2012

The Ukrainian Ambassador to the UK has called the ministerial snub of England's Euro 2012 group matches "a misjudgement".

2011 A woman sticks a picture in support of jailed Ukrainian opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko - 0

No ministers will be attending England's Group D games in Donetsk and Kiev amid anger over the treatment of jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko.

Ambassador Volodymyr Khandogyi rejected the term "boycott", highlighting the fact that the situation is under review for the knockout stages should England make it that far, but told Radio Five Live: "I do not see the word boycott, rather there is information that ministers will not attend the first leg of the tournament in Ukraine - which I really regret."

He went on: "It's not a boycott or they would have said that but I regret they will not go. I think it is a misjudgement. I think this is not an opportune time to mix politics and sport.

"We are ready and looking forward to this event. Those who will not come, it is their own personal decision.

"It is disappointing to read these headlines because I think they are not fair in the first place. I would invite people to see for themselves rather than see these headlines.

"A lot of people are coming, some are not. That is their sovereign decision."

The ministerial snub was confirmed on Thursday in a statement from the Foreign Office.

It read: "The Government fully supports England's participation in Euro 2012.

"We hope this is a successful tournament for the England team, the fans and the people of Ukraine and Poland.

"No ministers will be attending group games at Euro 2012.

"We are keeping attendance at later stages of the tournament under review in the light of ministers' busy schedules ahead of the Olympics and widespread concerns about selective justice and the rule of law in Ukraine."

PA Sport

Comment 122 - 142 of 142

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  1. Be the first to comment on this article!

    From nigel t, on Sun 10 Jun 8:08
  2. ...............

    From cynic, on Sat 9 Jun 9:41
  3. Lee I have family in Ukraine I hear from them, I can­ speak Ukrainian.. I also know other people who live in­ different parts of Ukraine.. Often on discussion­ boards like this the POR trolls spread disinformation­ in an effort to make people in other countries believe­ what they want them to.. but also there are the useful­ idiots as stalin called them. Dont forget at the back­ of all the oligarghs and POR politions in Ukraine is­ the money from the kremlin they spend millions each­ year trying to subvert the former soviet countries to­ try to keep them on their knees. go look at the news­ site kyivpost ... its in English you will see much of­ what is going on over there

    From michael, on Sat 9 Jun 8:24
  4. First sign of politicians not wasting money &­ expenses hurrah , foregone conclusion anyway.

    From ANN, on Sat 9 Jun 7:44
  5. cant see they'll be missed . its hard to inagine­ any of our politicians being any use when it kicks off­ on the terraces

    From nigel t, on Sat 9 Jun 6:07
  6. What's Princess Liea got to do with it? (in the­ pic)

    From Delia'S Mum, on Sat 9 Jun 5:46
  7. what about the atrocities that are happenong in this­ country, maybe some of these nations should boycott the­ Olympics, these ministers should be ashamed of­ themsleves and the atrocities this government has­ placed on its citizens, these shamefull measures that­ the people of this country have to suffer. Boycott the­ Olympics, Unions grow some Balls and call some strikes­ during the Olympics

    From BYRON, on Sat 9 Jun 1:21
  8. This is odd considering how the UK is one of the most­ corrupt places in the world itself. We participated­ heavily in an illegal war for instance which goes on­ killing thousands and all the bums in government now­ were happy to vote for it. They're happy to­ demolish free speech and national identity too and help­ themselves to thousands worth of freebies at taxpayer­ expense. In addition the City of London launders the­ money of despots from all over the world and­ doesn't even operate by UK law. Absolute hypocracy­ ... there's another reason for this because in­ politics there is no such thing as ethics. Only lies­ and deceit. The whole Auschwitz thing is another load­ of old b******s. Whole tournament seems ruined before­ it's begun.

    From Mighty, on Sat 9 Jun 0:25
  9. So Paul,you are a racist too!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Do you know­ who your father is??????????

    From LEE, on Sat 9 Jun 0:02
  10. time to send all ukraine workers that r here home!!

    From Paul, on Fri 8 Jun 23:53
  11. Well said Michael,i am no expert,just going on what i­ have seen and been told by my girlfriend,who comes from­ Odessa,but i think you hit the nail on the­ head,re-Diana and Barbara!!

    From LEE, on Fri 8 Jun 23:35
  12. At first i thought the snub was about Racism, and no­ i'm not first to comment 'Yahoo'.

    From Kidface, on Fri 8 Jun 23:20
  13. What about the racism, now that is an honourable reason­ for boycotting any public event. This is something­ which will kill international sport, because there are­ always some idiots who think it clever, brave or­ whatever to shout racist remarks or make monkey chants.­ They have no brain, not even of a monkey. personally,­ if it happens at a match I would finish the match, so­ as not to start a riot, and then close the competition­ down until the organisers got it under control . As for­ ministers not coming to a match, why would they go­ unless as a private citizen, which they would pay­ for...... dont answer that

    From Ken W, on Fri 8 Jun 23:15
  14. Stop Censorship, a group of journalists and others who­ have cried foul about the threats to free speech under­ President Viktor Yanukovych, distributed this “Kyiv Map­ of Corruption” on June 6. The setting was the­ multimillion-dollar Mezhyhyria estate where the­ nation’s president resides. About 100 journalists from­ the group attended the event. The gathering was­ intended to demonstrate to Yanukovych and the world how­ Ukraine under Yanukovych has become an oasis for­ blatant corruption by high-level officials. One of­ the suspicious transactions detailed on the map is how­ Yanukovych and offshore companies acquired the vast­ Mezhyhyria estate from the state at firesale prices. ­ Yanukovych did not show up to greet the journalists,­ who wanted to remind the president of his two-year-old­ unkept promise to give them a tour of Mezhyhyria.

    From michael, on Fri 8 Jun 22:59
  15. They shouldn't be skiving off to the football­ anyway. Isn't it their job to stay at home and run­ the country?

    From Duncan, on Fri 8 Jun 22:34
  16. Diana.. Barbera I do not believe you are who you say­ you are. your words are what is being used by POR­ party to try to discredit Tymoshenko, they are so­ scared of this one woman they are making up fiction in­ an effort to show to the world how bad she is.. Maybe­ "Yanukonvict" the president of Ukraine should­ be showing how he and his oligargh friends like Firtash­ are really like.. the millions they have stolen from­ the people. Yankovich was a garage mechanic, how did­ he get to be a professor? he cant even spell the word..­ he now has millions, is the pay of a minister in­ Ukraine so large that he can become a millionaire in­ such a short space of time?. go read kyivpost and find­ out more

    From michael, on Fri 8 Jun 22:27
  17. This must mean theres no backhanders on offer for this­ shower of shysters then?

    From Red Ged., on Fri 8 Jun 22:19
  18. If they expect our players to compete, then they­ should attend to support them - if the situation is so­ dire in the Ukraine - the perhaps the UK should be­ competing - can't have it both ways.

    From Anon, on Fri 8 Jun 22:12
  19. keeep politics out of sport

    From JOHN, on Fri 8 Jun 21:50
  20. The same ministers of course fawned over the Royalty­ from the Middle East countries attending the Royal­ Jubilee. and their behaviour towards their citizens in­ relation to human rights is far more abysmal! The­ government of course, with the useless Foreign­ Secretary sounding off about things he does not­ understand will never boycott a State even as­ disgusting as Bahrain where money and arms sales are­ involved. A typical two faced, hypocritical stance by a­ two faced government led by a two faced Prime Minister.­ The Tories, they know the cost of everything and the­ value of nothing.

    From Bobmattfran, on Fri 8 Jun 21:07
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