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Ukraine chief happy with country's image

The host nation's tournament director has stated that despite rumours in the build up to the event, the past three weeks have shown that people have enjoyed visiting

Ukraine's Euro 2012 tournament director Markian Lubkivsky has insisted that people are enjoying the country, proving pre-competition investigations into violence and racism were untrue.

Supporters of Asian and Afro-American ethnicity were advised to stay at home after reports of racism and violence, and former Three Lions defender Sol Campbell warned English fans that they could come back in a coffin after watching the BBC's show.

However, supporters from all countries have been largely well received at Euro 2012, with only a small number of incidents including fighting between Russians and Poles in Warsaw, neo-Nazi banners leading to the German FA being fined, and a minority of fans singing racist chants at a Czech Republic player and members of the Dutch squad as well as Mario Balotelli.

Ukraine's tournament director revealed that he was always confident of showing the rest of the world that the suggested extent of violence and racism was not true, while adding that the amount of supporters traveling to the competition shows how much it is being enjoyed.

"Before the tournament there were rumours and scare stories about Ukraine, but I always thought it was simple to combat that." Lubkivsky told reporters.

"I always believed we should concentrate on hosting the tournament in the right way and if we were good people and very friendly, then we could show the world it wasn't true.

"This morning I have had a meeting with boarder services and they have told me that Ukraine was visited by 25% more guests than normal.

"So far we have had between 900,000 and one million guests, I believe that it will be even higher and we will have well over 1 million people by the final.

"That shows clearly that people enjoy coming to Ukraine.

Gabriele Rechberger, of Football Supporters Europe, also thinks that Euro 2012 has been very good for the country, insisting that supporters from all over the globe have had a fantastic time.

"The tournament it's great, it's really great." She said. "We had a lot of work every day, [for a ] minimum ten or twelve hours.

"But it doesn't matter because we have such a lot of good feedback from people, citizens and also from football fans from different nations.

"We try to connect them in a very respectful way and it works very well.

Vilen Matveyev, the curator of Kiev's Fanzone, has no doubts that Ukraine's reputation has been advanced over the course of the last three weeks, showing his delight at the success of his own particular part of the tournament.

"[The] image, I can say exactly, it's a great success for us because it's a great pleasure for me to know and to accept that everybody said that Kiev Fanzone is the best of the Championship."

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