The last time Ireland were in a major tournament, Irish fans were warned that when eating a hot dog in the Far East, its bite might be worse than its bark. It was an oriental take on the Last of the Korean Rover. The Ukrainians have taken it to a whole new level, however, by culling stray dogs that wander the streets of Kiev in a mobile crematorium. UEFA are not happy and Póg Mo Goal are joining them.
This has to be one of the most bizarre stories to emerge since Ireland qualified for Euro 2012. It seems that as the finals draw nearer, the Ukrainian authorities have stepped up attempts to clean up the country for the thousands who will visit by killing stray dogs, and they’ve met the wrath of UEFA.
Since the Ukraine was awarded the finals as co-host, the problem of tens of thousands of marauding hounds has caused the locals to become image-conscious but reports of inhumane treatment has provoked an outcry.
Television stations have shown horrible treatment of dogs who are picked up from the streets and burned in the cremating vehicle. It has caused welfare groups to call for a boycott of Euro 2012 and even for the Ukraine to be stripped of its hosting status.
The protestations of animal protection groups and UEFA has finally prompted the government in Kiev to issue an immediate ban on the practice. They have committed to building animal shelters and those animals that can’t be housed will be sterilised upon release.
Ahead of Euro 2012, Póg Mo Goal have vowed to take up the baton by launching a campaign to also eliminate strays, mainly all the stray passes coming from the Irish midfield.