KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Soccer fans from all over the world are kicking the ball around in the center of Ukraine’s capital to combat racism and promote tolerance.
Ukraine has been rocked by allegations of racism and a call by a former England soccer star to not attend matches here because fans might return “in a coffin.” Ukrainian officials angrily deny the claims and promise a warm welcome to fans.
Dozens of fans wearing T-shirts emblazoned with the words “Football Unites” played five-minute matches in the Euro 2012 fan zone set up on Kiev’s main avenue. Hundreds of spectators cheered and applauded the players.
Dan Nott, a 30-year old geography student from Bristol, England, said the project aims to “unite people across the world, to say no to racism.