Euro 2012 co-hosts Ukraine fought
bravely to the last minute and were victims of chance and human
error, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said on Wednesday, adding
the country had achieved a victory by hosting the championship.
Ukraine lost 1-0 to England in Group D on Tuesday, failing
to reach the quarter-finals, after controversially being denied
an equaliser even though the ball may have crossed the line.
"They tried to seize the victory until the last moment,"
Azarov told a government meeting. "But sports is sports and,
like life, it has everything - luck, randomness, mistakes and
unfairness. One should not make a tragedy out of that."
Azarov said the former Soviet republic had already secured
its main victory.
"We have shown the whole world that we can solve the hardest
tasks and radically modernise our infrastructure in very short
time," he said.
"Our country has beaten sceptics and enemies who wished the
great sports holiday to fail in Ukraine."
However, one parliament deputy, Yuri Karmazin from
opposition faction Our Ukraine - People's Self-defence, cried
foul over the England game.
"This was fraud on a European scale [carried out] under the
English flag," he told parliament.
"Annul yesterday's game urgently because it was unfair,"
Karmazin urged European football's governing body UEFA.
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