Polish National Tourist Office Hits Back at BBC
Wed 30th May 2012 | Safety & Security
The Polish Ministry of Interior has hit back at the portrayal of the county’s football fans in the BBC’s Panorama programme.
The progamme aired on the 28th May featured scenes of racial and anti-Semitic chanting and violence by fans in stadiums which will host EURO 2012 matches.
Former England footballer Sol Campbell featured in the programme and urged supporters not to travel the tournament.
But Małgorzata Woźniak, spokesperson for the Polish Ministry of Interior issued a statement saying: “In response to the statement of the former England captain, Sol Campbell, advising fans travelling to EURO 2012 which has been broadcast on BBC’s Panorama, the Polish Government is surprised that the report contains the opinion of one person only and failed to include the views of international security experts.
“The Polish Police cooperates with the international police forces on a permanent basis, including the British Police and the material broadcast omitted to provide any information on the British Police Force's safety and security plans for EURO 2012.
“We would like to point out that liaison officers from the British Police are coming to Poland during the tournament to assist and cooperate with the Polish Police based on previous exchanges of information and consultation.
The Polish response follows that of Ukraine's Euro 2012 director Markian Lubkivsky who told the BBC he did not see any danger for citizens staying in the Ukraine.
“We are getting ready for the great football festival, Lubkivsky said.
"To be honest, from the UEFA point of view, I don't see any dangers for citizens of different nationalities to stay in Ukraine."
The threat of racial violence has been enough to deter Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s families from travelling to the tournament.
But with nine days to go until the first game in Warsaw kicks off the Ministry of Interior and the Polish Security Services have stressed that they are ready to ensure the safety of all football fans and players who come to EURO 2012 in Poland.
”The Polish Police Force has been preparing the security procedures for EURO 2012 for many years, taking into account various possible scenarios,” Woźniak continued.
”The Polish Police are fully aware that at large international sports events such as EURO 2012 certain incidents involving fans may occur and have been preparing for such eventualities.
”As many as 13 out of 16 national football teams, including the English team, taking part in Euro 2012 have chosen to stay in Polish cities which clearly shows their confidence in Poland's safety and security.
“The English team is staying in Kraków during the whole tournament, a well-known and popular destination amongst tourists from Great Britain.
”We would also like to point out that the services under the Ministry of Interior will spare no effort in preventing anything from spoiling the atmosphere of a great sporting event such as EURO 2012. A few hundreds of thousands of police officers will be involved in the security of EURO 2012.”
Posted by: Aaron Gourley
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