Germany coach Joachim Low has
rejected calls for a boycott of Euro 2012 over jailed former
Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
Tymoshenko was sentenced to seven years in prison last
October for abuse of office after a trial the West said was
She is in prison in the city of Kharkiv, one of the Euro
2012 venues, and is on hunger strike in protest at what she said
was an assault by guards, an allegation denied by the prison
Her case has sparked calls for a boycott of next month's
tournament co-hosted by Poland and Ukraine.
"Clearly a boycott does not make sense," Low told reporters
on Monday. "But it is a good opportunity, with all eyes on the
tournament, for these issues to be discussed and maybe something
positive comes out.
"In Germany we have an image of football that is about fun,
joy, integration, bringing people together [but] we will not
travel to Ukraine as the police for the world.
"I have travelled a lot, worked in many countries and I am
deeply convinced human rights are one of the most important
things," added Loew.
"I identify myself with press freedom, freedom of opinion,
protection of minorities and also humane treatment of Yulia
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