Hindus are asking Poland, Ukraine and Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) to ensure racism-free 2012 UEFA European Football Championship (Euro 2012), currently underway till July one co-hosted by Poland and Ukraine.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that it was quite shameful if Europe could not deliver a racism-free football tournament even in 2012.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, stressed that reported incidents of racist monkey chanting directed at Netherlands players during an open training session in Krakow (Poland), vicious racially motivated assault on Indian students in Metalist Stadium in Kharkiv (Ukraine) few weeks back and anti-Semitic slogans by Polish fans were highly unacceptable and upsetting in today’s world. A strong political will and a stronger stance against racism were needed and authorities needed to monitor hate crimes closely.
Rajan Zed sought personal intervention of President Bronisław Komorowski and Prime Minister Donald Tusk of Poland and President Viktor Fedorovych Yanukovych and Prime Minister Mykola Yanovych Azarov of Ukraine on the issue of reported racism. Poland and Ukraine should be more welcoming of the foreigners and “others” who looked different, Zed added.
Zed urged leaders of the majority Roman Catholic Church in Poland and Orthodox Christian Church in Ukraine and other religions/denominations in these countries to openly come out against racism, because religion told us to help the helpless.
Euro 2012, the 14th European Championship for national football teams organized by UEFA, is scheduled to be held at Kyiv, Donetsk, Kharkiv and Lviv in Ukraine and Warsaw, Wroclaw, Poznan and Gdansk in Poland. Sixteen teams are said to be participating.