Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting COUNTY GAZETTE to 80360 or email us
Lescott rues Ukraine racism fears
Joleon Lescott has admitted his disappointment that the family of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain do not feel it is safe to watch the England teenager at Euro 2012.
Theo Walcott's family have already confirmed they will not be visiting Ukraine this summer for fear of the racism they may encounter. Now Lescott has revealed Oxlade-Chamberlain's relatives are following suit, further underlining the problems that exist in the co-host nation.
"It's a shame for some members of the squad that their families feel they can't go and obviously it's a situation that needs to be addressed," said Lescott.
"But I think we always will be (talking about it). You can't get rid of it from people's minds. It is a touchy subject for some people. But if you address it pretty early I don't think it will be a problem.
"On the whole, our country deals with it pretty well. It is not as bad in England as it is in other countries.
"It was quite alarming to see the reports about the situation out there, but even before the reports, my family weren't going anyway. It's not the same as with Theo's and Alex's family."
A recent graphic documentary of how deep-rooted racism is in some parts of Ukraine heightened tensions ahead of England's opening Group D fixture against France in Donetsk on June 11.
Now Amnesty International have highlighted their concerns about Poland, where England will be based from their arrival on June 6.
"The harsh reality is that racism remains commonplace in Poland and there are numerous reports of xenophobia on the terraces and in the stands of Polish football grounds," said Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International UK. "Then there are concerns about the policing. Polish police have repeatedly been accused of using excessive force.
"For any fan choosing to travel to the country they should be fully aware that their experience may well be far different from their experience here in the UK."