We tend to forget quickly after a tournament is over, but the Italian families that live in Bed ford Kiev may never forget Euro 2012 in a hurry. And the day Italy edged out England in a penalty shoot out. It was to be an all night celebration in Bedford with a population of about 20, 000 people and one in every five resident are Italians. The celebration was actually pumping up when suddenly over 150 English thugs escaped police check and invaded the area; smashing cars, shattering windows, maiming anyone they found on the street. In terror, many women and children fled with fatal injuries. It was just one of the incident in the many violence that took place in Euro 2012.
The Good thing is UEFA seem capable of managing the ever looming crisis. They hadn't wasted time in wielding their big stick on the offenders:
- 183 persons were arrested after Polish and Russian clashed in Warsaw.
- UEFA slapped a 30, 000 euro penalty on Croatia for the behavior of their fans at their final Euro 2012 group game against Spain. They were earlier fined 80, 000 euro for racist taunts aimed at Italy's Mario Balotelli.
- UEFA also said it has fined Germany 25, 000 euro for their fans racist chants and display of unpopular banner.
- Portuguese were also fined 7, 000 euros for one of their fans trying to invade the pitch during the Czech game.
These are examples of what UEFA is doing to save the face of the Euro soccer tournament.
The Bad started when Theodor Grebe Selassie became a victim of monkey chants in the Czech-Russian game and Mario Balotelli in Croatia-Italy game. It led to the outburst of Balotelli, who said he will walk out of the pitch if racist chants are made at him again and he would strangle anyone he got one-on-one. Grebe Selassie and Balotelli weren't the only victims of racial abuse, England duo Ashley Young and Ashley Cole were absolutely dehumanized with racial abuses on twitter after they missed penalty in the game between England v Italy.
The Ugly perhaps, are the incessant violence before and after most games in Euro 2012 - Polish/Russian clash, German/Denmark clash, Croatian/Spanish clash, English/Italian clash... has dragged the reputation of the tournament into the mud.
The world is watching, but we must all stamp our feet and say: No racism! No violence! These ugly phenomenon will destroy the beautiful game, if handled with Kid gloves.