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You're reading: Guardian: Five lessons about Euro 2012 learned in Ukraine

Lesson 1: what the EU media writes or says about Ukraine is not always true

On
the eve of the tournament there was a plethora of negative, prejudged
information about Ukraine. My country was labelled a nation of racists,
xenophobes and prostitutes. Of course, it is possible to find traces of
racism in any country if is one really wants to, and Ukraine is no
exception. But in reality, the world has seen wonderful images of
Ukrainian fans supporting their team without any aggression just like
other Europeans and, in spite of the negative campaign in the Western
media, Ukraine warmly welcoming foreign fans. One only has to ask the
Swedes, Germans or Dutch who have filled our streets, enjoying
traditional Ukrainian hospitality. Even English fans, who were urged by
former national team defender Sol Campbell not to travel to Ukraine,
because of fears of “coming back in a coffin” have been amazed by the
warmth of the reception they have received. Still, in response to his
warning, a coffin was carried through the streets of Donetsk with the
slogan “You were wrong, Campbell” written on it.

Read more here.

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