AUTHORITIES have taken a drastic step against racism at Euro 2012, by closing down every green grocers within a 30-mile radius of host venues.
Polish and Ukrainian police forces made a coordinated swoop from the Baltic coast to the Black Sea in an attempt to remove the threat of bananas being thrown at black players during the tournament.
As part of the operation, thousands of fruit and veg venders were arrested on suspicion of inciting racial hatred.
With the spectre of racism hanging over the competition, European football’s governing body welcomed the move.
“It’s good to see authorities have eradicated the opportunity for these dealers of hate to profiteer from the tournament, especially when they haven’t given us a penny of corporate sponsorship,” read a UEFA statement.
Despite ensuring revenue for Euro 2012 organisers, the arrests have increased concerns that driving exotic fruit underground will create a black market.
A Polish green grocer who escaped the purge and wished to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals said: “I’m just doing the best for my family. Locally-grown apples and strawberries keep me above the poverty line but imported fruit like bananas turn a far superior profit.
“If 20 men with shaved heads come into my shop and buy enough bananas for me to send my children to university, what am I supposed to do?”
Ukrainian women’s rights group FEMEN, fierce critics of the anticipated boost to prostitution Euro 2012 will bring to the country, joined the debate by getting their melons out.
Make Party celebrate Olisadebe lead
TWO GOALS from Andriy Shevchenko saw Make Party take the initiative in the opening round of fixtures.
“People they talk we no have chance but I good motivate for team. I also do plumb,” said the Make Party manager.
Everybody Gdansk Now are a close second, not down to any particular individual performance but because they were the only team in which all 11 players picked up appearance points.
Points are taken from matches up to and including Greece v Czech Republic on 12 June 2012.
The top individual points scorer so far is Vaclav Pilar with 14 (unsigned).