English Fans Assaulted by Ukrainian Hooligans Before World Cup Qualifier: What Should Be Done?
While preparing for the coverage of the US vs. Mexico World Cup Qualifiers [WCQ], I read about the assault on English fans in Ukraine. According to the Daily Mail, a group of English supporters were at a Kiev coffee shop apparently enjoying life.
In the coffee shop were 20 Ukrainians armed with knives that started an argument with the English tourists. A fight broke out and three English supporters received wounds in the hand and head with bruises.
The victims were hospitalized and discharged after treatment. This occurred on the eve of the Group H WCQ between the two nations to be held this Tuesday.
Before continuing, I am disgusted and repulsed by this attack on the English supporters. I personally hope that justice is administered and these attackers severely punished.
While most matches occur without incident, it is important to be aware of one’s surroundings. The English supporters did the right thing in going as a group to the coffee shop.
What should have been done is canvassing the environment including the nearest exit door upon seeing the Ukrainians. It is important to walk away when provoked by the opponent since most fights are started on provocation.
It is very important to register with the Embassy or High Commission of your country where you are a citizen/subject. Never forget to leave the copy of your trip itinerary and major documents such as passport with trusted family members and friends.
While the Daily Mail did not address this situation, never accept packages from strangers. You should exchange money only at authorized banking institutions secondary to the risks involved in the streets.
While the tourist has responsibility for his or her own well-being when traveling to a match, there are other factors. The Ukrainian government must identify, arrest, and dictate sentence to those who assaulted the English nationals.
They should make apologize formally to England for the assault on the latter’s nationals. The attacks on the English supporters in Ukraine hurt the country in the eyes of the international sporting community.
FIFA and UEFA should reinforce their talk about no racism and hooliganism by investigating the matter. They should investigate the causes of this assault on the English.
If Ukraine is unable or unwilling to punish the perpetrators of this assault, FIFA and UEFA should punish Ukraine. The punishment should be harsh by including sanctions or even a ban from participating in the World Cup.
The Ukrainian government responded by apparently reinforcing its security after being condemned for inaction. This is not enough and pressure must be applied during the WCQ match in Kiev and afterwards.
It is hoped that this incident serves as a wake up call to TAKE ACTION AGAINST HOOLIGANS!!
You Tube video courtesy of Dmitri Volkov