French officials to boycott Euro matches in Ukraine

Paris : Barely a week before the kick-off of the Euro 2012 championships, officials of the French government have decided to boycott matches in Ukraine because of a human rights issue.

French Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said: "The situation of human rights in Ukraine, and in particular political trials, prompts serious concerns within the European Union."

Sports Minister Valerie Fourneyron said the decision was made on the concerns over Yulia Tymoshenko, reported sources.

Tymoshenko is serving a seven-year jail term on charges of abuse of the Ukraine`s government. It was the allegation that she was beaten by prison officials that raised worry in EU. Fourneyron also hoped that other European nations take actions against Ukraine, which will co-host the European Championships June 8-July 1.

The final will be held on July 1 in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine.

"In terms of my presence and that of members of the government, I thought that it wasn`t our place to go to Ukraine in this kind of situation," said French president Francois Hollande.