Thursday 22 February 2018

Polish TV forced to apologise after showing old Soviet flag on one of its newscasts after Poland/Russia clash

POLAND’S public broadcaster has apologised for showing the Soviet flag on one of its newscasts giving the result of the Euro 2012 co-host's match with Russia this week.

The graphic of a small red flag with the hammer and sickle - not used as a national symbol for two decades - set in the foreground of the Polish white and red banner, appeared during Wednesday afternoon's edition of news show Wiadomosci.

Following the fall of the Soviet Union, the Russian white, blue and red flag replaced the communist symbols, which continue to spark mixed emotions among the citizens of the former Soviet satellites, including Poland.

The difficult relationship fraught with historical grievances between Moscow and Warsaw was brought into the spotlight after hooligans attacked Russian supporters during their march to the stadium in Poland's capital on Tuesday.

The march also celebrated Russia Day, the anniversary of declaration of the country's independence in 1990 as the Soviet Union collapsed.

Piotr Krasko, the head of Wiadomosci and its main anchor, said the controversial graphic was prepared for an earlier discussion of past matches between Poland and the Soviet Union.

Its use for Tuesday's Group A game, which finished in a 1-1 draw, "was an unintended error at the worst possible moment", he told viewers this week.

Several Polish politicians critcised the mistake.

"We won't leave this matter alone," Jan Dziedziczak, a member of the parliament's culture committee told tabloid daily Fakt. "We demand a detailed explanation from the president of (public broadcaster) TVP."

© Reuters

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