"These events in no way affect UEFA’s confidence in the security measures planned by the ukrainian authorities for UEFA EURO 2012, which will ensure a cheerful tournament without any incidents," it sounded from the association’s headquarters in nyon, switzerland. The situation in ukraine, however, is being "monitored".
In dnepropetrovsk, several people were injured when four explosive devices were detonated. "Our thoughts are with the injured, to whom we wish a speedy and full recovery," UEFA announced. "Regarding today’s explosions in dnipropetrovsk, UEFA will await the results of the investigation by the ukrainian authorities," said the continental football governing body.
The industrial city 400 kilometers southeast of kiev is in the european championship from 8. June to 1. July no venue. But it is the birthplace of former prime minister julia timoshenko. The discussion about the imprisoned politician puts UEFA under further pressure. Despite criticism, federation head michel platini again defended awarding the host role to ukraine.
"Of course, it is difficult when the political situation is unstable. Ukraine has just appointed its fifth sports minister in five years. But what can we do? Don’t give the european championships to countries like ukraine, because not everything is as stable as in western european democracies? This is not a solution," said platini before the attacks of the newspaper "die welt".
Yulia timoshenko sits in the city of kharkov, where germany will play its second group match on june 13. June against the netherlands, in custody. She is considered a victim of political revenge justice on behalf of ukrainian president viktor yanukovych. In 2004, tymoshenko led the orange revolution against yanukovych. Currently suffering from a herniated disc and has gone on hunger strike.
DOSB president thomas bach intervened on friday in the ongoing boycott discussion. "Sport must not become the cudgel of politics". Sport can have a positive effect on its own through the increased public attention and critical support it brings. Sport is probably the world’s biggest communication platform. This public debate can be very helpful because it draws attention to problems," said the german vice president of the international olympic committee (IOC).
Bach attested that the german soccer federation (DFB) was handling the politically difficult situation well. "So DFB president wolfgang niersbach has behaved very responsibly in the current discussion about the european soccer championships by clearly calling for optimal medical care for mrs. Timoshenko and speaking out in favor of respect for human rights, the independence of the judiciary and freedom of speech and the press," bach said.
Former soccer star and current rights marketer gunter netzer called for more political awareness from sports. "Human rights violations and certain forms of government must also interest sports," he said on friday at the club wirtschaftspresse in munich. But netzer rejects a boycott of the european championships.
Despite the events in dnipropetrovsk, there are apparently no signs of a concrete threat to the european championship games from attacks. Responsibility for tournament security lies with host countries poland and ukraine. "We are doing everything necessary to ensure the safety of the guests and participants in the european championship," said alexander birsan, the man in charge of the european championship for ukrainian president yanukovych. UEFA as the organizer cooperates with the state institutions. Police and military deployed in both countries to protect the 16 teams and their delegations.