(Corrects second paragraph to show tournament starts on June 8
not June 9, fixes garble in first paragraph)
WARSAW, May 5 (Reuters) - The leader of Poland's main
opposition party called on Saturday for the final of Euro 2012
to be moved from Kiev to Warsaw in protest against the Ukrainian
authorities' alleged mistreatment of jailed ex-prime minister
Poland and Ukraine are co-hosts of the month-long soccer
tournament whose opening games will be played on June 8. The
final will be played in Kiev on July 1.
"At the very least, UEFA should transfer the final match of
Euro 2012 from Kiev to Warsaw. Any other reaction will amount to
silent acquiescence to the further undemocratic activities of
the Ukrainian government," Jaroslaw Kaczynski, leader of the
conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party wrote in his blog.
"Flagrant human rights violations in Ukraine, as symbolised
by the situation of jailed Yulia Tymoshenko, is the effect of
disadvantageous political changes we are observing in Ukraine
and proof of Ukraine's growing dependence on Russia."
Tymoshenko, main rival of President Viktor Yanukovich, was
sentenced to seven years in prison last October for abuse of
office after a trial that the West says was politically
She is now in a prison in the city of Kharkiv, one of the
tournament venues. She has been on a hunger strike since April
20 in protest at what she said was an assault by prison guards,
an allegation denied by the prison administration.
Several European politicians have said they intend to stay
away from the former Soviet republic in protest.
Kaczynski seems to be a mostly lone voice in Poland with his
call for a switch of venue. While Polish authorities have voiced
their disapproval of how Tymoshenko's case is being handled,
they have criticised calls for a boycott.
"The West should not boycott Ukraine during the European
soccer championship in June as that would hamper its European
ambitions and force the ex-Soviet country back into the arms of
Russia," President Bronislaw Komorowski said this week.
Most Polish politicians have traditionally viewed a
pro-Western Ukraine as an effective counterweight to Russian
domination over Eastern Europe and have sought to draw it closer
to the European Union.
(Reporting by Rob Strybel; Editing by Alison Williams)
Borussia Dortmund's Mario Gotze ruled out of Champions League final against Bayern Munich
Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini will leave the La Liga club at the end of the current season
Stoke City and manager Tony Pulis part company by mutual agreement after seven years
Andy Carroll pulls out of England's friendly internationals against Ireland and Brazil
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
He's here, he's there, he's...
The cost of Premier League away travel
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010