Britain urged to end Euro boycott

Last Updated: Saturday, June 23, 2012 - 14:32

London: The daughter of jailed former prime minister of Ukraine, Yulia Tymoshenko, has urged British Prime Minister David Cameron and other officials to go back on their decision to boycott England`s football quarter-final against Italy in Kiev on Sunday.

Eugenia, who had earlier backed the boycott, said in a television interview on Friday that it would be more useful for British politicians to come to Kiev and put pressure on President Viktor Yanukovych.

Yanukovych has come under unrelenting criticism from the European Union nations for the jailing of Tymoshenko, who was one of the leaders of the Orange Revolution, on charges that most believe to be politically motivated.

No official other than the British ambassador to Ukraine has attended an England match so far because of concerns over the Tymoshenko case and rule of law in Ukraine.

The British government sources have now confirmed that the ministerial boycott extends to the quarterfinal clash.

Eugenia now believes it would be better for Cameron to come to Ukraine and state his concerns face to face with Yanukovych.

“He could say something to Yanukovych`s face which will be stronger than just saying they won`t come,” The Independent quoted Eugenia, as saying.

“Sport should be sport and, of course, if they come to cheer together with the British fans in the fan zone, in the stadium, and at the same time visit political prisoners or make a statement about this to Yanukovych, it would be even maybe much stronger,” she added.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian government has slammed the boycott, saying that it has had no effect on the Euro games.

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Voloshin said: “The government of Ukraine knows the British position on Tymoshenko and a boycott is not going to achieve anything, so we should just allow this to be a festival of football and not confuse it with politics.”

ANI



First Published: Saturday, June 23, 2012 - 14:32

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