The family of English international Theo Walcott has decided to watch Euro 2012 on TV, fearing they will become the target of racist attacks if they travel to Ukraine.
The footballer’s elder brother Ashley Walcott shared the news on his Twitter page.
“Unfortunately my dad n i have taken the decision not to travel to the Ukraine because of the fear of possible racist attacks confrontations [sic],” the 25-year-old wrote. “Some things aren’t worth risking, but begs the question why hold a competition of this magnitude in a place that can not police itself for foreigners of any creed to feel safe, but I’ll be watching every minute.”
“Racism has no place in the modern world,” he concluded.
Earlier, the UK’s Foreign Office urged the country’s fans to be careful during their trip to Ukraine this summer.
"Although the vast majority of visitors experience no difficulties, foreign nationals have been the victims of violent crime in Kiev and other major cities,” the organization’s website warned. "In some cases attacks have been racially-motivated. Travelers of Asian or Afro-Caribbean descent and individuals belonging to religious minorities should take extra care."
Theo Walcott is among the eight black players named on 23-man squad for the European Championships by English coach, Roy Hodgson.
By the age of 23, the Arsenal winger already has 22 caps and seven goals for his country.
England are in Group D for Euro 2012, with co-hosts Ukraine, France and Sweden being their rivals.
Ukrainian capital Kiev and Donetsk will become the venues of the team’s matches in the preliminaries.