Euro 2012: Stadiums of Hate Panorama


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Euro 2012: Stadiums of Hate

With days to go before the kick-off of the Euro 2012 championships, Panorama reveals evidence of racist violence and anti-semitism at the heart of Polish and Ukrainian football.


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In 11 days' time, Europe's biggest festival of football, kicks off.

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But just how safe will some fans be? Bloody hell.

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I am concerned that they will be targeted by racists and fascists

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and antisemites in Poland and in the Ukraine. The European

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football's governing body says it has zero tolerance.

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I think this is embarrassing and it embarrasses the whole country.

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Panorama spends a month inside Poland and the Ukraine. We see the

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fans who routinely abuse. What kind of things do they say?

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Bad words. Like (BLEEP). The terraces where the fans give

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fascist salutes. The ground where the supporters are beaten for the

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colour of their skin. We were supporting the whole team.

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The families of two black England players have already said they

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won't go. Tonight a former captain condemns

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UEFA's choice of host nations. Would you recommend families to

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travel to Euro 2012? No chance. Stay at home. Watch it on TV. Don't

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even risk it. UEFA has a vision, a vision of a

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united European family of football. This June, the family of football

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has chosen to pay a visit to Eastern Europe.

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Poland, Europe. But with 100 years of footballing

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history, and they have some of the most passionate fans in the world.

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They have the stadiums, the speck kal, but they have a big problem, a

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reputation for violence and racism. So, does the family of football,

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really know what it is letting itself in for? I've spent a month

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watching league matches across these two countries to find out.

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My first stop.is Widzew, a city the size of Birmingham. It is not a

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host city for Euro 2012, but I've been told to see the dark heart of

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Polish football, I should come and watch the Widzew Derby.

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LKS, versus Widzew. For this match, the visiting fans have been banned

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from the LKS stadium. It is an hour before kick-off, the fans start

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running battles with the police who just want to get them into the

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stadium. It seems that a lot of them

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definitely came here to fight, but there are no away fans, they are

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banned from the match that turned on the police.

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They have started to target us for a little while there, throwing

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stones and fire crackers. It seems like anyone is a target if you are

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Every team in Poland has a hard- core of supporters. They call

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themselves Ultras. They create noise and atmosphere at the games,

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and they love to abuse the opposition.

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At this match, I was shocked to hear the terraces chanting that the

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None of the Ultras would talk to me, but I did speak to a fan who did

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not join in the chanting. Tell me about the antiSemitic chanting,

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what is that about? They don't think that they insult Jewish

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people, they just use it as a weapon to attack the opposite fans

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and the opposite club. But they must think badly of Jews

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if they think this is an insult? Yeah, they know this is an insult.

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In Widzew, two teams trade the word "Jew" as an insult, both on the

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pitch and in a tat for tat graffiti wall. All this in a city, where

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during the Second World War, the Nazis all but exterminated its

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230,000 Jews, for some football fans, the word Jew is now used for

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someone who deserves to be defeated and even killed.

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I lived in Widzew. I was shocked on the main street where I saw that

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Jews should be assigned to the gas. The idea that people walked past

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this every day and let that happen, it was difficult for me.

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Jonathan Ornstein has lived here for many years. He believes that

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football hooligans are yet to catch up with wider Polish sod. --

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society. I think they are looking to

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demonise the other team. The imagery that they are using is the

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Jewish talk. I think it embarrasses the whole country.

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My next step was Warsaw, the Polish capital and host city for Euro 2012.

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This is where the opening ceremony is to take place. Where the fans

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from all across Europe will be welcomed.

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Warsaw's biggest team is Legia. They have one of the largest

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followings in the Polish Premiership.

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However, this particular branch of the family of football also has a

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skeleton in the closet. If you're arriving here by train,

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this is the greeting you'll get. Further down the platform, it does

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not say "welcome to Warsaw" it says "welcome to hell" This graffiti

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celebrates the White Legion. One of many violent groups organised

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around football. Across the city they spray devotion to their team

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and to their politics. What we have here is racist

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graffiti. It also contains a very important

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racist symbol, the so-called Celtic cross, the white power sign. This

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symbol you can see often during the matches.

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Jacek Purski's work is supported by UEFA to monitor and combat racism

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among the fans. It is illegal to display such hate

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symbols during the football matches. According to the Polish law,

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putting this symbol at this wall is illegal. It promise oats fascism,

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it promise oats racism. In Widzew, I had seen racist

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banners pledging white pride and heard fans citing terms and monkey

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sounds on the pitch. Are you familiar with the monkey

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sounds? Yeah, but you try to ignore it. Many people are doing it.. I

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have problems with the players on the field. I try not to focus on it

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and try to go on my way. What sort of things do they say to

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you? Bad words like you are a (BLEEP) monkey or something like

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that. Is there a system to go to? Someone

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to report it to? The only person to report it is the referee, he does

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not do anything. He will just say to keep going. Racist symbols and

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antiSemitic chants have been a part of football for years. There are no

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official figures but a report vealed that in 2010, there were 133

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serious hate rimes inside the stadiums.

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-- hate crimes. Jacek Purski was a co-author who

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documented the offensive chants Today he's helping Euro 2012

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stewards learn to recognise racism. It can be an uphill struing until a

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country where ethnic and religious minorities are all but invisible.

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-- it can be an uphill struggle. A lot of work has been done. The

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situation is going in a good direction. Of course, we hope to

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have a peaceful, non-racist Euro 2012, but still around the league

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matches, from time to time, some incidents occur.

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Incidents like one that took place here. This is Rzeszow, a small town

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in Southern Poland. Two years ago, fans displayed a

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huge banner declaring "death to hook noses" at the time it went

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unpunish, though a year later, the Polish FA fined the club and a

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senior official lost his job. Even so, we filmed a repeat performance

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over a month ago. This time a banner declared the presence of the

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antiJew front. Although nothing was done in the

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match, the police later arrested the man holding the banner. The

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club was fined �1,000. The supporters were give an two-match

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ban. There's been a push as of late,

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obviously before the Euro, they don't want Poland to be embarrassed.

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We will see what happens with that, but I think there needs to be a

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deeper, more pro-longed effort to eradicate not just anti Semitism,

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but xenophobia. That is part of a larger issue here.

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This is Krakow, a city that is football crazy.

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This medieval city is to be home to the England squad during Euro 2012.

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It's another town where hooligans have hi-jacked the word "Jew."

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Tonight it is the Krakow Derby, Wisla vs Cracovia.

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Also known as the Holy War, for the intense rivalry between the two

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takes. -- teams.

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Just a few seats away from mine, I spot two which is which is fans.

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Both are wearing what look like anti Semitic T-shirts. Polish

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Ultras were not willing to speak on camera. I secretly filmed a chat at

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halt. So, this is a Pole

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Polish club? Your club? Yesment yes. I got it.

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Soon, the war of words turned into a war of missiles. The opposing

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hooligans vented their anger on the Watching the match was Nick Lowles

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from Hope Not Hate. An antiracist monitoring group. He had flown out

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to see what the British fans could expect from Poland.

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As we saw tonight, people had T- shirts on, they were not confronted

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by stewards. My concern is what happens outside of the stadium. The

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positive thing with English football is that increasing numbers

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of Asian fans are travelling to support England. I'm concerned that

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they will be targeted by racists and fascists and antisemites in

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Poland and the Ukraine. It is not just Eastern Europe where

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racism in football is an issue. Charges of racism has hit the

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headlines across the country. Especially in the UK.

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John Terry is to go to trial facing ariesism remark. Whatever the

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outcome, one man who has faced racism at first-hand is another

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former England captain, Sol Campbell. I showed him our footage,

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to see how the countries come paired.

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It is incredible how organised it All the chants of killing Jews it

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is sickening to the core. I'm glad it is not like that in England. I

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know it was at one stage, but in the 21 century, this is on another

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Leaving Poland behind, I wondered if what I found in Ukraine could

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This is the capital, Kiev. It is where the Euro 2012 finals are

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going to be played. Ukraine looks ready to host the euros, but were

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their fans ready to welcome waves of visitors from all across Europe?

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I went to a Premier League match, UEFA say they have zero tolerance

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of racism on the terraces. Yet these distant cousins in the family

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of football seemed to have zero tolerance for anyone who was not

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white. While police and stewards look on, a relative of one black

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That is just so sad. It is incredible. The thing about it is

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that it is little kids, girls and boys. As recently as 2008, Sol

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Campbell was racially abused at a Premiership match. Those fans were

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arrested and prosecuted, but at this match in Ukraine police did

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nothing. I cannot believe it, it just makes me feel sick, and I just

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feel empty. I feel hurtful, because I know what those guys are going

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through. I would hate to live in a place like that, just going in to

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play a football game, you know, being subjected to all this abuse,

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and no-one is doing anything about Kharkiv, Ukraine's second city and

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This is the Metalist Stadium, soon to host Portuguese, Dutch, Danish

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What went on here I had only seen in films about the Second World War.

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Massed ranks, all doing a Nazi salute.

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During the first half, I saw men, women, girls and boys of all ages,

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giving the Hitler salute and shouting Sieg Heil. I have spoken

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to a few have the fans here, and they have confirmed that they are

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saying Sieg Heil because Hitler hated Jews and blacks, and that is

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With Euro 2012 just around the corner, what were the police

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planning to do about this? How concerned are you about the

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possibility of racist displays inside the Metalist Stadium?

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TRANSLATION: Regarding Kharkiv and the whole of the Ukraine, up until

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now, we have not had any such incidents. There have been on, and

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I hope that during the Euro 2012 Championship we will not have any.

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In fact, Ukrainian fans are very friendly. At the Metalist Stadium,

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I saw approximately 2000 people do the Nazi salute to their team.

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no, it is not a Nazi salute. It is... They were pointing in the

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direction of the opponents, so it looked like they were pointing with

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the right hand to the fans, kind of attracting attention to themselves.

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So it is not Nazi. Sieg Heil! Perhaps something had been lost in

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translation. I was sure of what I had seen, football fans doing Nazi

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salutes. Across town, I met up with a football fanatic who is also part

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of a far-right organisation. hide in his place in the market,

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nobody can find us, any cops, any government guys. By Dean did not

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have any time for UEFA's vision of a multicultural family of football.

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-- Vadym. The Celtic cross, show. It is not founded today because we

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have a match, just people relaxing. Does it annoy you if you have a

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black player playing for you? Do The whole bar was a shrine to far-

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right extremism. They had Celtic crosses, swastikas and white power

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symbols. There was also worked and help they -- there was also an

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unhealthy obsession with Nazi Germany, but it was harder to pin

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down exactly what Vadym believed in. Are you a Nazi? Do you support some

:20:24.:20:34.
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Vadym is a recruiter for a group called Patriot of Ukraine. This is

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a Patriot video, where they claim to be running out illegal

:20:42.:20:52.
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Do you recruit from the stands? Do you find new members? Oh, yeah!

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could see why football terraces could be fertile recruiting grounds

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for the Patriots. Since the break- up of the Soviet Union, right-wing

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politics and hooliganism have gone At this match, I spotted two fans

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with Patriot logos on their T- shirts. It was not long before the

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It was a gesture I would see at I had another appointment with the

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Patriots, this time to see how they took football hooligans and trained

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We are meeting a trainer in the use You keep it secret?

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I had seen videos of Patriot events where they had rallied hundreds of

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supporters, but at this training session there were just a handful

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There are no reliable figures for Patriot membership, but they do

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have a presence in all the Euro What makes them dangerous is not

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only their extreme right-wing views, but they're clearly ready for

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British government advice for Euro 2012 is for black or Asian fans to

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take extra care in Ukraine because of the possibility of racist

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Officially, Patriots say they do not condone attacks on foreigners,

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but when I spoke to one recruit, that did not sound so clear cut.

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TRANSLATION: We are learning to shoot, and we are learning tactical

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combat, and military preparation, and we can take all this training

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onto the streets. I can also add, because my face is hidden, that

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these skills have already been used I have no way of knowing how much

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of what they say is just bluster, but earlier this month in the host

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city of Kharkiv, there were two stabbings, and both victims were

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Nigerian students. Last month, UEFA responded to the

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possibility of racist attacks. They announced funding for so-called

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inclusivity zones, secure Areas outside of stadiums where

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supporters of all backgrounds can feel safe. But have they done

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enough to combat racism before the tournament begins? We asked for an

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interview with Michel Platini, the president of UEFA, but we were told

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that he was too busy to speak to us. However, in a statement, UEFA told

:24:26.:24:36.
:24:36.:25:02.

Back at the Metalist Stadium in Kharkiv, it was the final game of

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the season. Of the pitch, it was said to be the most violent. This

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is one of the stadiums that will be hosting matches in Euro 2012.

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Tonight, it is hosting a match between two of the country's

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biggest teams. Now, the local police have told me they have never

:25:21.:25:28.

seen any evidence of racism on Vadym from the Patriots took me

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into one of the most volatile parts of the stadium, the Ultras' stand.

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Why are you in competition with that side of the stadium? Bloody

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hell! It was not long before it lived up

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Bloody hell! I am getting out of here!

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Things went from bad to worse. With no segregation in the stadium,

:25:55.:26:02.

scuffles are breaking out between rival fans all over. Suddenly, at

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the Metalist hooligans spotted a new target, a small group of their

:26:05.:26:15.
:26:15.:26:22.

Only these supporters were not Innocent people, innocent, look at

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them, it is just gangland! And no- one is helping, no police is

:26:28.:26:37.
:26:38.:26:38.

helping. Look at that. Look at That is absolutely disgusting. I

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cannot believe that. No-one has come... At last, someone is helping

:26:43.:26:52.

him. It is lawless! It is lawless! I want to cry for them. I want to

:26:52.:26:55.

cry for them, because someone is living there, thinking, is someone

:26:55.:27:00.

going to kill me today because of my colour? These Indian students

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have been studying in Ukraine for the last few years. They sat in the

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family section, thinking it would be safe. Ukrainian football does

:27:11.:27:15.

find clubs when fans misbehave, but it set was unable to tell us if any

:27:15.:27:20.

action had been taken over this incident. At Euro 2012, UEFA say

:27:20.:27:30.
:27:30.:27:36.

the Ukrainians will have primary So it was very planned? They

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trapped you? Gosh. Are the police going to help you to get home

:27:43.:27:53.
:27:53.:27:56.

safely? They are not going to help Do you think UEFA were wrong, then,

:27:57.:28:00.

to choose Poland and Ukraine? think they were wrong, because what

:28:00.:28:05.

they should say is that, until we see a massive improvement, that you

:28:05.:28:08.

have sorted that, you're never going to get his tournament. You do

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not deserve these prestigious tournaments in your country. Would

:28:12.:28:21.

you recommend families to travel to Euro 2012? No chance. Stay at home,

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watch it on TV. Don't even risk it, because you could end up coming

:28:26.:28:34.

back in a coffin. UEFA say that the legacy of Euro 2012 will be to help

:28:34.:28:39.

With just days to go before the kick-off of the Euro 2012 championships, Panorama reveals shocking new evidence of racist violence and anti-semitism at the heart of Polish and Ukrainian football and asks whether tournament organiser UEFA should have chosen both nations to host the prestigious event.

Reporter Chris Rogers witnesses a group of Asian fans being attacked on the terraces of a Ukrainian premier league match and hears anti-Semitic chanting at games in Poland. And with exclusive access to a far right group in Ukraine which recruits and trains football hooligans to attack foreigners, Panorama asks: how safe will travelling football teams and their supporters be at this summer's European festival of football?