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Euro 2012: Ukraine chief blasts Sol Campbell

Ukraine football chief blasts Campbell for 'back in a box' claim

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UPDATED:

15:54 GMT, 30 June 2012

The organisers of Euro 2012 have hit
back at the BBC's pre-tournament claims of fans being at danger of
racist thuggery in Poland and Ukraine this summer.

When shown footage of trouble that
flared up in the two countries, former England star Sol Campbell even
suggested supporters were at risk of 'coming back in a box'.

As it has turned out, there has been little trouble throughout the entire competition.

No joke: England fans make their point to Sol Campbell

No joke: England fans make their point to Sol Campbell

There were problems around Poland's group game with Russia, although that match had historical issues attached to it.

Indeed, the instances of racism were created by travelling fans, with Croatia, Spain and Russia all fined for the behaviour of their supporters.

It offered Ukraine football federation president Grygoriy Surkis the perfect platform from which to launch his counter-offensive.

'The best reply to the BBC and Sol Campbell, who declared that there was racism in Ukraine and maybe fans wouldn't go back to England was, I think, English fans who actually took the coffin out prior to the match in Donetsk,' said Surkis.

Hitting back: Ukrainian soccer chief Grygoriy Surkis hit back at racism jibes

Hitting back: Ukrainian soccer chief Grygoriy Surkis hit back at racism jibes

'What impresses me is that a person who has never been to Ukraine can give such commentary about the country.

'Yes, it is true, as an independent country Ukraine is only 20 years old.

'But it has made a huge contribution on infrastructure and made everything possible to be a reliable partner to UEFA for this tournament.'

A group of England fans paraded a mock coffin prior to the final pool match in Ukraine to show what they thought of Campbell's comments.

With no arrests amongst their travelling support, it has been one of the most peaceful tournaments for years.

Not my problem: Michel Platini won't get involved in disciplinary matters

Not my problem: Michel Platini won't get involved in disciplinary matters

Yet Michel Platini's comments about UEFA doing everything in their power to get rid of racism do not quite ring true with the fact that fines handed out for those incidents within stadiums were lower than the 80,000 fine handed out to Denmark's Nicklas Bendtner for ambush marketing when he lowered his shorts to reveal a Paddy Power logo following his goal against Portugal.

'You should ask the UEFA disciplinary committee,' said the UEFA president this lunchtime.

'Because they are an independent body and took their decision I shouldn't get involved.

'I might agree, I might not but I'm the UEFA president.

'I can do a lot at UEFA but I'm not going to interfere in the decision and that's it.'

Euro 2012: Natalia Siwiec T-shirt blasts Sol Campbell and BBC

Bad Boy Campbell! Polish model blasts Sol and the BBC after Euro scaremongering

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UPDATED:

10:36 GMT, 29 June 2012

Polish model Natalia Siwiec has decided to show her disdain for Sol Campbell's claims in a BBC Panorama documentary that fans travelling to Euro 2012 'could come back in a coffin'.

She wore a T-shirt which bore the words 'Bad Boy Campbell' (spelling BBC in an acrostic) and on the back, 'BBC is wrong!'.

Message: Natalia Siwiec was not impressed with Sol Campbell's claims

Message: Natalia Siwiec was not impressed with Sol Campbell's claims

Printing: BBC is wrong

Poland may have been eliminated from the tournament after three largely unmemorable performances but this lady will not be forgotten in a hurry.

Memorable: Siwiec made her mark at the Euros

Memorable: Siwiec made her mark at the Euros

Siwiec is not the only person to criticise the BBC and Campbell – England fans also mocked his pre-tournament advice to stay away.

They paraded a coffin before England played Ukraine at the Donbass Arena and declared Campbell's concerns 'ludicrous'.

Defiant: England fans parade a coffin

Defiant: England fans parade a coffin

Ironically, most of the trouble at
Euro 2012 has come from fans of visiting countries. Russia, Germany,
Croatia and England have all been fined for crowd incidents.