Whilst young Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is delighted to be going to the Euros as part of Roy Hodgson’s squad, he will sadly not have his family there to support him in person.
The families of Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott, and Joleon Lescott (amongst others) have made the tough decision to not travel to Poland and Ukraine for this summer’s international extravaganza, fearing racist behaviour from supporters and hooligans in the region.
Apart from past incidents involving racist chanting and the jeering of black players, there have been recent exposés on right-leaning hooligans in the Ukraine, many with racist tendencies. Apart from the families of these players, a lot of England supporters have also decided to avoid travelling to Euro 2012.
It is important to note however, that it is a minority of fans that cause these problems, but as ever – it is a very visible and vocal minority.
Hopefully the tournament will be incident free, with fans and authorities on their best behaviour. However, it will certainly be an uncomfortable time for the England squad – for which racism has been a hot topic of late.