THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

AUDIO: Hodgson hopes racism will not happen

Roy Hodgson

The UEFA EURO 2012 is approaching fast and all the participating teams are getting ready for the continental finals. But while fans are looking forward to the action on the pitch, the concern on the situation in the co-host nations Poland and the Ukraine is giving others a headache.

Racism, violence and the political situation are major concerns for many fans, media and even participating teams. Especially racism has caught the attention of several teams with black players in their squads. Various governments and authorities have already warned about the possibility of racist abuse in the co-host nations, while several heads of state have announced they would boycott the UEFA EURO 2012 matches in the Ukraine.

England is one of the teams expressing their concerns with Arsenal star Theo Walcott’s father announcing that he would be watching his son on television rather than in the Ukraine. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s family has also stated that they won’t travel to the UEFA EURO 2012 to concerns over racist abuse.

England manager Roy Hodgson has called the fears of racist abuse and violence “sad” during a press conference ahead of his team’s friendly match against Norway on Saturday.

“These matters are totally and utterly out of our control, we can only have faith and trust UEFA,” said Hodgson.

“I’m hoping like everyone else racism does not play a part in this tournament,” England captain Steven Gerrard stated. “I hope that it is about the football and not the racism.”


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