Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski said calls to boycott Euro 2012 matches in Ukraine are an inappropriate response to the situation in the country.
“I believe that calls for the boycott are inappropriate to the current situation in Ukraine. There were numerous cases in various democratic countries of denunciations or accusations of presidents and prime ministers but they never led to boycotting [sports] competitions,” Komorowski said in an interview with Polish TV channel TVP1.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly threatened last week to ban her ministers from attending the summer competition after photographs appeared to back up claims that jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, an opponent of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, had been beaten in jail.
Since then, European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso has also vowed to stay away from the tournament, and Dutch media reported that members of the royal family may also snub the event unless Tymoshenko's situation improves.
It has all sparked speculation that the matches in Ukraine may be moved to another country.
In October, Tymoshenko, 52, was sentenced to seven years in prison for abuse of office in what Western governments claim was a politically motivated trial. Held at a penal colony in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, she has been on a hunger strike since April 20, and faces another trial on embezzlement charges.
Ukraine is co-hosting the tournament with Poland. It starts June 8 in Warsaw.