John Terry can be blamed for an awful lot of things, but you wouldn't think that Ukrainian political unrest would be one of them.
However, president Viktor Yanukovych has cited the Chelsea defender's actions during Euro 2012 as one of the reasons the former Soviet state has been in crisis ever since.
Yanukovych is facing much opposition from pro-Westerners and millions of Ukrainians who want the country to join European Union. Many fear that the president's resistance to European integration signals a step back into the nation's soviet past.
During Ukraine's final group game with England at the European Championships, Terry made a goal-line clearance that actually appeared to cross the line, but it was not given and Ukraine lost 1-0.
Even though a 1-1 draw wouldn't actually have been enough for the co-hosts to progress in the tournament, and one of their players was offside in the build-up to the incident, they still feel rather aggrieved by the situation. Apparently, no one is more miffed than than president Yanukovych. The Mirror reports:
Pro-European demonstrators have staged large-scale protests in Kiev against president Viktor Yanukovych's refusal to sign a deal for closer integration towards the European Union.
The hardline leader is clinging on to power despite some serious unrest in his country recently as the protests have escalated - which he traces back to Terry during the European Championships in 2012 jointly held in Poland and Ukraine.
Connecticut senator Chris Murphy witnessed a recent Yanukovych speech in which "he opens by restating his commitment to joining the EU, but spends most of the speech listing the slights he feels Europe has lodged against him and his country."
Murphy describing the lengthy monologue on his blog , saying "At one point he spends more than a few minutes talking about a disallowed goal by Ukraine in a 2012 Euro Cup match against England."
It is well known that international football results can have a serious effect on the national psyche — Harold Wilson famously blamed England's 1970 World Cup exit for his election loss — so maybe JT is more than just a convenient scapegoat for the president.
Either way, it's a good job Chelsea won't have to head to Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League knockout stages. He would probably feel more welcome at Wayne Bridge's birthday party.
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- Politics & Government
- Sports & Recreation
- Viktor Yanukovych
- John Terry
- European Union