U.K. Ministers Skip Euro 2012 Quarterfinal Over Ukraine Concern

June 20 (Bloomberg) -- U.K. government ministers will not watch England play in the quarterfinals of the Euro 2012 soccer championship due to concerns about human-rights abuses in Ukraine.

After England’s victory yesterday over Ukraine, one of the two hosts of the tournament, the team is scheduled to play Italy in Kiev on June 24. Ministers missed the team’s first three games of the championship, citing worries about “selective justice” in the country. Prime Minister David Cameron’s spokeswoman, Vickie Sheriff, said the boycott of Ukraine will continue.

“It reflects ministers’ busy schedules and widespread concern about selective justice in the Ukraine,” she told reporters in London today.

The European Union has demanded opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko be freed from prison, after she was jailed for seven years over a gas accord she signed with Russia in 2009, when she was premier.

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Hutton in London at rhutton1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net