Euro 2012 blog: Cheap Ukrainian alcohol downs some Swedish fans

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June 14, 2012, 4:34 p.m. | Ukraine | Politics — by Oksana Grytsenko

Swedish fans laugh during the match between Sweden and Ukraine on Monday, June 11
© Kostyantyn Chernichkin

Oksana Grytsenko

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Not all foreign supporters have managed to stay on their feet while enjoying the football festival in Ukraine. For some Swedish fans, days of constant parting in Kyiv, where beer and vodka are considerably cheaper than in their home country, ended up with alcohol poisoning or injuries caused by falls while drunk.

“Please don’t tell my mom,” pleaded one Swede when he saw reporters at the hospital where he spent the night when his team lost the Ukrainians on Monday.

The day when Swedes played with Ukrainians was an especially tough one for their supporters – and not only because Ukraine won 2-1.

Kyiv doctors reported about a dozen cases of foreign fans being taken to hospital. A further 100 people received medical help without hospitalization.

“I’m not going to hide that most fans [come to the hospital] in state of alcoholic intoxication,” said Roman Vasylyshyn, chief doctor of Kyiv’s central Oleksandrivsky Hospital.

The hospitals were prepared. English-speaking signs were put up at on some medical institutions before Euro 2012 kicked off. The foreign patients admit the Ukrainian medical staff had been very helpful and attentive to them.

Popular Swedish rock musician Mats Ronander, who used to be one of Swedish pop group ABBA’s guitarists on their world tour in 1979, had to cancel his new band’s gig at Camp Sweden on Kyiv’s Trukhaniv Island on Tuesday after he was taken to intensive care with a head injury.

Ronander says he lost his footing in the street and fell after Ukraine-Sweden match.

Swedish fans say they aren’t all alcoholics, but that they just can’t resist trying the cheap and tasty Ukrainian alcoholic drinks when the football festival is in full swing.
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