Theo Walcott's family boycott Euro 2012 over racism
Arsenal star's brother and father won't travel as safety concerns grow for England fans
FEARS over racism and security at Euro 2012 have been highlighted after the family of England winger Theo Walcott said they would not be travelling to the tournament in Poland and Ukraine because they feared being attacked.
Walcott's brother Ashley revealed that he and his Jamaican father were not prepared to run risk being targeted by racists in a series of messages on Twitter earlier this week.
He tweeted: "Unfortunately my dad n i have taken the decision not to travel to the Ukraine because of the fear of possible racist attacks... Something's aren't worth risking, but begs the question why hold a competition of this magnitude in a place that can not police itself."
Last week a senior police officer raised concerns over race attacks at the tournament and Uefa is so worried it has set up special "inclusivity" areas for non-white fans and will offer advice on which bars are safe to visit.
At present only 3,000 England fans are expected to make the journey to Eastern Europe to support the team. And announcing his squad for the tournament on Wednesday England manager Roy Hodgson said racism was an "obvious concern" for travelling fans.
In April The Sun infiltrated a right-wing militia in Ukraine that it said was planning to target England fans and players. One member told the paper: "The football authorities are kidding themselves if they do not think there will be violence or that Ukraine fans will not boo [black players]... We are not apologising for it - we don't want to see black players in European teams."
The Daily Telegraph notes that Foreign Office travel advice for the region tells black and Asian travellers and those from religious minorities to "take extra care" because of the danger of "racially motivated" attacks.
However the paper also reports: "Roy Hodgson has named eight black players among his 23-man squad but it is understood neither Walcott nor any team-mate has contacted the Football Association to express concerns for their family."