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Global Apr 13, 2012

Ukraine blocks film about Nazi ‘death match’

Ukrainian authorities have blocked the release of a film about Soviet footballers who defied Nazi Germany amid fears it could ignite explosive emotions just weeks before the country co-hosts the Euro 2012 tournament.

The Match depicts the 1942 “Death Match” in which top Kiev footballers trounced a team of Nazi occupiers and reportedly paid with their lives.

Officials fear the film which extolls the heroism of Ukrainian soccer players but portrays many Kiev residents as Nazi collaborators, would teach Ukrainian audiences the wrong image of their country and history.

Some experts also fear that it may stoke hostility towards German players and fans as Ukraine hosts several games played by Germany’s national team.

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