Kharkiv is all yellow

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Kharkiv is not getting chance to host a Ukraine match at this tournament, but the absence has made the heart grow fonder of the national team if the scenes on the street ahead of tonight's game against France are anything to go by.

Andriy Shevchenko and company are in action a few hundred miles away in Donetsk, the eastern-most venue in the competition, and the nearest host city is also fervent with expectation.

Kharkiv might have been built with football in mind. Right at the centre of it is a huge square, which the locals claim is the second biggest in the world after Tianmen. Given that all football tourists need to keep them happy when they travel abroad is a big square, this is perfect.

It is all yellow at the moment, right down to one supporter's pet poodle, whose hair is dyed in the national team's colours.

Given the vast crowds of home supporters out and about, there could conceivable be some lengthy queues at public toilets in the city. It is an exclusively Ukrainian problem, though.

Relieving oneself in a public area costs a Ukrainian a fine of 119 hyrvnia, but aN official in the capital has said foreigners will not be fined for the same offence.

"We won't [penalise] foreigners but if some Ukrainians do so they will be fined," Kiev's administration head Oleksandr Popov was quoted as saying in the Kiev Post.