Think of the soccer’s quadrennial European Championships as the World Cup without Brazil and Argentina but also without the lesser lights. Euro 2012 includes 16 teams — the World Cup offers 32 — and at least 10 have a legitimate chance to make big noise. But the fear exists that Euro 2012, which commences today and runs through July 1, could make its biggest noise by becoming a cauldron of racism.
The event is being jointly hosted by Poland and the Ukraine. This month the BBC aired a Panorama documentary entitled “Euro 2012: Stadiums of Hate” that, according to the Guardian, “showed Polish fans chanting anti-Semitic slogans and giving Nazi salutes.” UEFA, the governing body of European football, did the usual UEFA thing by first trying to downplay the report and then making assurances that racism would not be tolerated.
Sol Campbell was more forthcoming. He advised fans to stay away