Danes to watch Euro 2012 from sofa

Ukraine’s image as an expensive and dangerous country is being blamed for the low ticket sales for Denmark’s group games at this year’s European football championships

Only ten percent of the 10,000 tickets available for Danish supporters have been sold for DenmarkÂ’s group matches at the European championship football tournament (Euro 2012) this summer in Poland and the Ukraine.

“I donÂ’t think weÂ’re going to sell all the tickets, but I donÂ’t know whether there will be 500, 1,500 or more left over,” Bo Grøn Iversen, the head of accounting for the Danish football association, DBU,  told Politiken newspaper.

The low interest in tickets has led DBU to hold an emergency meeting to discuss how to increase interest in the competition, which is usually very well attended by Danish supporters.

Denmark will be playing their three group games in the Ukranian cities of Lviv and Kharkiv, almost 900 kilometres apart, and according to Politiken, UkraineÂ’s image of being expensive and dangerous is to blame for the lack of interest.

“We have seen some outrageous prices,” Iversen said. “Some people think they can become millionaires in a week if they have a couple of spare beds available.”

The Copenhagen Post discovered that at one hostel in Lviv, the Nikolas, a double room that usually goes for 275 kroner a night in the summer was going for 2,000 kroner a night on a match night on July 13.

The dire scenario has led DBU and the Danish embassy in Ukraine to join forces to produce a brochure about the country to inform potential travelers of Ukraine’s more positive sides and what they should expect to pay for various services.

But, if threats made by racist hooligans are to be trusted, Danes who do decide to make the trip may need to be alert – especially if they are not white.

Speaking to British tabloid The Sun this December, one hooligan said: “We believe black and Asian people should stay in their own countries. We don’t want them here for Euro 2012.”

Police presence at the competition is expected to be high, however, minimizing the risk of conflict between rival supporters.

Fans who are interested in attending the competition this summer are urged to book their accommodation through the website http://www.accom2012.com/.