Ukraine's uniform on Euro provokes anger in Russia

Source : 112 Ukraine

A new kit for Ukraine's football team shows a map including annexed Crimea
12:57, 8 June 2021

Ukraine's shirt is emblazoned with its borders including Russian-annexed Crimea

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. BBC reported this.

Related: European Union to continue a ban on investment in Crimea, - media

Ukraine plays its first European soccer championship group game against the Netherlands on June 13 and the players will be wearing shirts emblazoned with its borders including Crimea and the slogan "Glory to Ukraine!"

Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in 2014, and considers it a part of its territory, something rejected internationally. A Russian MP called it a "political provocation".

The head of the Ukrainian football association, Andriy Pavelko, revealed the kit in a video on his Facebook page on Sunday, days before the European Championship kicks off.

"This is the most valuable outline of our country for all of us," Pavelko wrote. "A single and indivisible homeland with the Crimea, Donetsk, Luhansk, Kiev, my native Dnipro, Lviv, Odesa and all cities and villages, where the main melody from childhood is the melody of the national anthem."

The front of the yellow shirt shows the contours of Ukraine in white, including Crimea and the pro-Russian separatist-controlled regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. A slogan on the back reads "Glory to Ukraine!" - a patriotic chant used as a rallying cry by protesters who forced out a pro-Moscow president, Viktor Yanukovych, in 2014. Another slogan - "Glory to the heroes!" - is stitched on the inside of the shirt collar. Both it and "Glory to Ukraine!" are used as official military greetings in Ukraine.

Related: National team of Ukraine at Euro 2020: News, composition, results

But 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".

She said the slogan was nationalistic and echoed a Nazi rallying cry.

Russian MP Dmitry Svishchev called the shirt "totally inappropriate" and urged Uefa to take action.

In a statement to the BBC, European football's governing body Uefa said: "The shirt of the Ukrainian national team (and of all other teams) for Uefa Euro 2020 has been approved by Uefa, in accordance with the applicable equipment regulations."

Related: Euro 2020: Results and group standings

As it was reported earlier, the Ukrainian Association of Football (UAF) together with the technical sponsor of the national team of Ukraine, Spanish Joma Company have presented the new uniform of the team for Euro 2020. 

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