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Prince Willem-Alexander, Dutch prime minister to boycott Euro 2012

Friday 08 June 2012

Prime minister Mark Rutte and crown prince Willem-Alexander will not attend Dutch matches at the Euro 2012 football championships in Ukraine, sources have told RTL news.

In addition, the cabinet will decide today if sports minister Edith Schippers should also boycott the event in protest at the treatment of opposition leader Yulia Tymoschenko.

Tymoschenko, who played a key role in the Orange Revolution in 2004, is serving a seven year jail sentence for corruption. She says her imprisonment is an act of political revenge by Ukraine's president Viktor Yanukovych and claims she has been mistreated by prison guards.

On Thursday, British government ministers said they will boycott England's group games in protest at the 'selective justice' meted out to Tymoschenko. France has already agreed a boycott and Germany is considering doing so, RTL said.

The Netherlands open their Euro 2012 campaign on Saturday against Denmark.

© DutchNews.nl

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Readers' comments (7)

I have just read on BBC news (Fri 9.00am) that The Dutch squad have been subjected to racist abuse while training in Krakow (Poland).

By Donaugh | June 8, 2012 8:07 AM

Oh, so now Rutte has recovered his sense of morals. Perhaps he's going to call for a boycott to the anti-polish website as well?

By phantom | June 8, 2012 8:45 AM

Selective Justice....well the Brits, Dutch, Germans and French have all been guilty of that in the last 12 months. Nice to see they can still climb onto the moral high ground when a good opportunity arises. Selective justice is the reason half of Europes leaders aren't sharing a cell with Yulia.

By Dr Ponzi | June 8, 2012 11:00 AM

So good to see Rutte can take a stand on controversial issues *outside* of the Netherlands. Whether the claims are true or not. I hope he asked for confirmable "facts" he could "investigate" as he has requested tactically in the past. Political agendas (and timing) indeed.

By J. | June 8, 2012 12:27 PM

We don't want politicians at football games anyway, it's the people's game & the political class are disconnected from the people.

(This does not mean I am supporting racism, whilst I am 100% supportive of my own race & culture I also think racism is foul)

By Phil | June 10, 2012 4:32 AM

@ Phil, I agree with you on that.
How often do we read comments here from "intelligent, educated" people who think watching football is something only the uneducated will do?
Perhaps Rutte is not so intelligent as he likes to think!
I've read that Angela Merkel is a football fan, but how many politicians going to games understand &/or have any interest in it?

By Donaugh | June 10, 2012 1:06 PM

@Phil: Football & TV are nothing more than a good distraction for a government to keep it's people entertained, but dumb at the same time. This goes back to the Roman's & the arena games & the throwing of free bread to the crowd.

Football is nothing more than a simple entertainment, it should not have anything to do with politics or big corporate money, but it does! Why should anyone care who attends is very trivial, just so long the violence is well policed, that is the big question...?

By The visitor | June 11, 2012 12:31 AM

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