Originally due to have a mid-season break from this week, SBS international current affairs show Dateline will be sticking around for an extra week.
Next Tuesday it will screen the recent BBC Panorama investigation revealing shocking new evidence of racist violence and anti-Semitism at the heart of Polish and Ukrainian football, raising concerns about the safety of teams and their supporters travelling to the Euro 2012 tournament which kicks off today.
As Europe’s biggest festival of football gets underway, the tournament organiser UEFA is coming under increased scrutiny over its choice of host nations for Euro 2012 – Poland and Ukraine.
In an Australian exclusive, SBS’s Dateline will broadcast the recent BBC Panorama investigation revealing shocking new evidence of racist violence and anti-Semitism at the heart of Polish and Ukrainian football. It raises serious concerns about the safety of travelling teams and their supporters, and questions whether UEFA should have chosen these nations as hosts of the prestigious event.
Reporter Chris Rogers spent a month watching league matches in these two countries to investigate their reputation for violence and racism. He witnesses massed ranks of fans giving Nazi salutes and using the word Jew as a form of insult toward the opposition and their fans. He also sees anti-Semitic and hate symbols displayed on banners and t-shirts at matches and in graffiti throughout towns, black players called ‘monkeys’, and even Indian students being beaten in a stadium by fans of the same club they were supporting.
Rogers also has exclusive access to a far right group in Ukraine which recruits and trains football hooligans to attack foreigners, and whose representatives have little time for UEFA’s vision of a multicultural family of football.
Former English football captain, Sol Campbell, who himself faced racism during his career, condemns UEFA’s choice of host nations in the report, recommending families not travel to Euro 2012.
“Stay at home, watch it on TV. Don’t even risk it because you could end up coming, you know, coming back in a coffin,” Campbell warns.
British Government advice for Euro 2012 is for black or Asian fans to take extra care in Ukraine because of the possibility of racist violence. Australian Government advice similarly notes an increase in racially motivated attacks by skinhead groups against foreigners, particularly people of Asian, African or other non-European descent, in Ukraine. Despite these warnings, UEFA continues to defend its choice of host nations, saying that bringing the spotlight on these countries creates an opportunity to address and confront such societal issues.
9.30pm Tuesday 12 June 2012 on SBS ONE