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Football: Topless protest for Platini during Ukraine visit

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(KIEV) - Police arrested several Ukrainian feminist activists for staging a topless protest as UEFA chief Michel Platini visited Kiev to check on preparations for the Euro 2012 football championships.

Four activists from FEMEN were arrested after stripping down to their waists and exposing their breasts outside Kiev's main stadium to draw attention to their campaign against sex tourism in Ukraine, an AFP correspondent said.

"FEMEN demands that UEFA initiates a educational programme for football fans (who will travel to Ukraine) about the inadmissibility of sex tourism and the financing of sex tourism," it said in a statement.

Feminists maintain that President Viktor Yanukovych did nothing to help their campaign against sex tourism when he said this year that foreigners should visit Ukraine in spring to see its scantily-clad "beautiful girls."

Platini, who arrived later at the stadium and did not encounter the naked protestors, expressed satisfaction with Ukraine's efforts ahead of the championships which are being jointly hosted with Poland.

"We are completely reassured and we are awaiting a great Euro 2012 here," he said. "Bravo to all those who have helped building the stadiums, airports," Platini added.

Platini, who had earlier visited other Ukrainian host cities Kharkiv, Donetsk and Lviv on his two day visit, reaffirmed that there were still several "small problems" to deal with before the championships get underway.

There had been doubts about Ukraine's ability to host the championships at all amid an economic crisis, but Platini said these had been completely erased.

"We asked whether we could continue to stay in Ukraine at all, then we asked if we could just stay in two cities but now the work is so well done that we will stay in the four cities," the former French star said.


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