Euro 2012 gets the boot from Jordaan

2012-06-09 16:54

Senior Fifa member Danny Jordaan is boycotting the Euro 2012 Championship in Ukraine and Poland in protest against racism.

The 2010 Fifa World Cup chief executive and respected football administrator joins a growing list of people who have shunned the games because of spiralling racial incidents in soccer.

These include the families of black England players Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who have said they would not attend the tournament because they fear abuse from violent and racist fans.

Former English captain Sol Campbell has advised supporters against going to the two countries, saying they will be putting their lives in danger.

On Friday, Dutch stars claimed that thuggish locals hurled vile insults – including monkey chants – at their black players during training in Krakow, Poland.

Controversial Italian striker Mario Balotelli has threatened to walk off the pitch if he is subjected to racist abuse.

Balotelli said he would “kill” anyone who dared to throw a banana at him – a non-verbal way of calling him a “monkey”.

Jordaan, who is also Safa vice-president and serves on various Fifa committees, said he had given away his quarter-final, semi-final and final tickets.

He blamed Uefa for doing nothing about racism, a cancer he said was threatening the moral fibre of the game.

“How can I be part of this scandalous set-up? I refuse to be because I believe Uefa could have done a lot to stop racism in the game,” said Jordaan.

“When we hosted the World Cup our government came out loudly to say they would protect all the visitors, particularly on the issue of crime, but this is not the case that side.”

Jordaan said his decision was based on principle.

“My family wanted to go there and enjoy the games but after what we saw on the BBC Panorama programme we decided against it,” he said.

BBC’s Panorama recently screened a documentary called Stadiums of Hate in which it unveiled Ukrainian and Polish attitudes to race and how this linked to soccer.

“Just because you are black you should not be treated like that as it is something you don’t choose to become,” Jordaan said, adding he knew others, from the Caribbean, who had turned down invitations to attend the games.

This week, Uefa boss Michel Platini was quoted as saying referees would stop games if players were abused by fans.

“So the referee has been given advice and he can stop the game if there are problems,” he said. “We will stop the game if there are problems because racism is the worst of this.”

However, he warned that any player leaving the field in protest without the referee’s authority would get a yellow card.

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