Russia said it had complained to European football governing body UEFA over Ukraine’s new national team shirt which is emblazoned with a map including Crimea and words from a military slogan. Reuters reports this.
Russia considers the peninsula part of its territory and annexed it in 2014, but Crimea remains internationally recognised as part of Ukraine.
Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin said that the Russian Football Union has appealed to UEFA to receive explanations. “We have expressed our concern about the Ukrainian national team’s kit,” he stated.
The front of the yellow jersey shows the borders of Ukraine in white. A slogan at the top of the back reads “Glory to Ukraine!” while inside the shirt are the words: “Glory to the heroes!” In Ukraine, those phrases are a military greeting.
Asked how he felt about Ukraine’s new kit, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin was dismissive. “There is no novelty in that. We know very well the position of Ukraine’s authorities on Crimea. They ignore the will of the people, the will of the Crimeans,” he said in televised comments.
Ukrainian manager Andriy Shevchenko, the former Chelsea striker, told reporters this week that he did not care about the Russian reaction. “I’m interested in our reaction. I think our fans liked our uniform, so I’m pleased,” he said.
As it was reported earlier, a new kit for Ukraine's football team on Euro-2020, showing a map of their country that includes Crimea – a region annexed by Russia in 2014, has provoked anger in Moscow. Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova criticised the kits, saying the football team had "attached Ukraine's territory to Russia's Crimea", creating the "illusion of the impossible".