BBC accused of 'sensationalism' over racism claims in Euro 2012 Panorama documentary
London, June 7 (ANI): The BBC has been accused of sensationalism over claims in a Panorama documentary that racism and anti-semitism are rampant in Ukraine and Poland, the hosts of the Euro 2012 football tournament, which begins on Friday.
The documentary, Euro 2012: Stadiums of Hate, which was screened last week, included the footage of Polish fans chanting anti-semitic slogans and giving Nazi salutes, and also showed a group of Asian supporters being beaten and punched at an end-of-season league match in Ukraine.
The graphic footage prompted the former England defender Sol Campbell to urge fans to stay away from Euro 2012 and "watch it on TV" instead.
"Don't even risk [going] ... because you could end up coming back in a coffin," The Guardian quoted Campbell, as saying.
Jonathan Ornstein, the executive director of the Jewish community centre in Krakow, accused the BBC of selective reporting.
He said he was "furious" at the way Panorama had "exploited me as a source" and claimed it had "used me and others to manipulate the serious subject of antisemitism for its own sensationalist agenda".
Ornstein lashed out by claiming that Panorama's reporter Chris Rogers had interviewed him for more than an hour where he told Rogers that the small number of racist and antisemitic fans in Poland "do not represent Polish society as a whole" and urged him to interview two Israeli footballers who played for Wisla Kraków.
"The reporters responded that this line of inquiry 'didn't fit their story', a response which perplexed me at the time," he said in his statement.
Ornstein further complained that the programme was "tendentious".
"I completely disregarded anything positive I said and aired only comments critical of Poland," he wrote in his statement.
However, the BBC flatly rejected Ornstein's comments and claimed to have made it clear that the interview was being carried out in the context of football-related racism and antisemitism in Poland. It denied refusing the offer to interview the Israeli players because it "did not fit the story". (ANI)
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