The Government is snubbing group matches over human rights violations in Ukraine. But it left the door open to send bigwigs if team boss Roy Hodgson gets past that stage.
England play all three group games in Ukraine, with one in capital Kiev. It also emerged that neither FA president Prince William nor Prince Harry will attend the tournament — co-hosted by Poland. Clarence House said they had never planned to go and had “other commitments”.
The part-boycott is in protest at the jailing of Ukraine opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko.
The Foreign Office said: “No ministers will be attending group games at Euro 2012. We’re keeping attendance at later stages under review in the light of ministers’ schedules and concerns about selective justice and the law in Ukraine.”
But Labour MP Stephen Pound called the Government “spineless” for not boycotting the whole contest. He said: “This is the most ridiculous sort of gutter politics.
“It seems to me like they’re chicken in Kiev.
“If David Cameron wants to have it both ways, he should join the Liberals.” German and French politicians will snub games in Ukraine.
JOE HART reckons England's knockers will eat their words this summer
Ex-Labour Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe last night warned the Government’s boycott plan could put England fans in danger of a backlash from Ukraine supporters.
He said: “It’s the worst sort of Government interference.”
If England get through, their quarter-final will also be in Ukraine.
A 100ft “Roy the Redeemer” statue has been erected on the white cliffs of Dover.
The mock-up of the famous Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro was installed overlooking the Channel by bookies Paddy Power — in the hope of unsettling the French before Monday’s England game.
100 FOOT statue of England Manager erected on the White Cliffs of Dover
From NICK PARKER, Chief Foreign Correspondent in Krakow
ENGLAND striker Jermain Defoe flew home yesterday after his dad died — but vowed: “I’ll be back.”
His father Jimmy, 49, lost his battle with throat cancer in a London hospital just hours after Defoe, 29, arrived at the squad’s Euro 2012 base in Poland.
Defoe was comforted by coach Roy Hodgson and team-mates before returning. But he pledged to return to the squad in time for Monday’s clash against France in Donetsk, Ukraine.
A source close to the England team said: “It’s terrible news for Jermain, but he’s a tough lad and wants to fly back as soon as possible. I’m sure he’ll be in Donetsk.”
But Defoe will miss key training sessions before the match and is unlikely to play. A replacement will not be drafted in.
Defoe last night thanked fans for their support.
He tweeted: “I want to thank the fans, my family & friends, the England boys, the FA & the manager for their support. I can’t tell you how much it means to me, I love you all, may God bless you.”
ENGLAND’S stars were cheered by locals as they walked to a civic reception welcoming them to Krakow last night.
Mayor Jacek Majchrowski saluted the visitors as the squad strolled to the 19th-century Polish Art Gallery, where a trumpet player sounded a fanfare.
Later coach Roy Hodgson and players including Wayne Rooney, Martin Kelly and Steven Gerrard were cheered along their three-minute walk back to the Stary Hotel. An FA spokesman said: “It was such a warm welcome.”