Football: Bayern's Hoeness urges Platini to appeal to Kiev
(BERLIN) - Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness has urged UEFA boss Michel Platini to use his position to appeal to the Ukrainian government over the treatment of jailed ex-premier Yulia Tymoshenko.
With Ukraine set to co-host the European football championships beginning on June 8, Hoeness told Monday's issue of German weekly Der Spiegel that the head of European football's governing body must put pressure on Kiev.
The 2004 Orange Revolution leader was jailed in October on charges of abuse of power in a move that has strained relations between Ukraine and the EU.
Tymoshenko, 51, has been on hunger strike for more than a week and has said she suffered a beating in her jail in the eastern city of Kharkiv where she is serving her disputed seven-year jail sentence.
"I really hope that Michel Platini will clearly express his opinion in the right places," Hoeness told Der Spiegel.
The 60-year-old Bayern boss also called on Germany coach Joachim Loew and his squad to publicly express their solidarity with critics of the Ukrainian government ahead of Euro 2012.
"They would show it with their size. I trust the players are smart enough to form their own opinions," added Hoeness.
"I would have respect for every player who publicly takes a stand on this issue.
"You should inform the public and take every available opportunity to point out that the conditions of detention of Ms Tymoshenko are unacceptable."
Hoeness said a decision by German President Joachim Gauck to not accept an official invitation to Ukraine next month in protest against Tymoshenko's prison conditions was "totally right".
Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said on Friday the German government would use "all the means at its disposal" to ensure Tymoshenko received "appropriate and thorough" care.
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