The pro-active Ukrainian women's movement FEMEN have staged a topless protest against what they say are UEFA’s plans to turn economically weak Ukraine into a destination for sex tourists from around the globe.
Ukraine is to co-host Euro 2012 together with Poland next summer, but FEMEN see nothing good in a major football tournament coming to their country.
Four of the movement’s activists shouted slogans like “Ukraine is a brothel" and "Euro 2012 without prostitution” and performed a fake self-immolation as part of the “Euro Burn” action in front of the Olympiysky stadium in Kiev, which is to host the European Championship’s final game on July 1, 2012.
They were planning to meet with European football boss, Michel Platini, who is currently on a visit to Ukraine, but were arrested before the official’s arrival.
“FEMEN consistently criticizes UEFA for its policies of corrupting the fans and artificially cultivating fanaticism, aggression, moral and mental degradation in them,” the statement in FEMEN’s blog said. “The European plodder, who does not go beyond the ‘football-beer-bang’ formula, is the portrait of a ‘superhuman’, according to the football bureaucracy. For the ‘high’ right to host Euro 2012, the Ukrainians are obliged to give away all of their little wealth to be plundered by Platini’s charges, with the most famous of them being the women.”
The movement demands that European football’s governing body initiate an awareness campaign against sex-tourism and financing of the sex industry among fans, and also want customers of prostitutes to face criminal charges.
Ukraine’s FEMEN movement is famous for organizing provocative protest actions in big cities to draw attention to acute social and political problems as well as women’s rights.
Their actions have become popular with the media as FEMEN members frequently protest naked or with few clothes on.