Lahm criticises Ukrainian government

Die Mannschaft captain does not approve the country's human rights record and slammed the current regime's treatment of the imprisoned ex-prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko
Germany captain Philipp Lahm has hit out at the Ukrainian government for their treatment of former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who was jailed last October.

The Euro 2012 co-hosts' ex-leader also went on hunger strike after claiming she had been beaten by prison guards, while president Viktor Yanukovych is coming under increasing political pressure over her imprisonment.

Some EU governments have threatened to hold back their respective nations from participating in the tournament altogether, and Bayern Munich defender Lahm admits he is concerned by the state of Ukraine's politics.

"I do not find my views of democratic fundamental rights, human rights, personal freedom or freedom of the press in the present political situation in Ukraine," Lahm told Der Spiegel.

"When I see how the regime is treating Yulia Tymoshenko, it has nothing to do with my image of democracy.

"When I read the first reports about Tymoshenko's failing health, I was suspicious."

Germany have been drawn in Group B for the European Championship finals, along with Denmark, Netherlands and Portugal.