Ukrainian Embassy in the United Kingdom reacted to the publications of British media that writing about events around Croatia’s football player Domagoj Vida, called the slogan ‘Glory to Ukraine’ nationalistic. Such statement by the embassy appeared on Twitter.
We would like to remind TheSun & Independent that "Slava Ukraini" means "Glory to Ukraine"- a patriotic expression like "viva la France","long live the Queen","Let Poland be Poland". Will you call those who chant these phrases nationalists&boo them?" Ukrainian diplomats wrote.
We would like to remind @TheSun & @Independent that "Slava Ukraini" means "glory to Ukraine"- a patriotic expression like "viva la France","long live the Queen","Let Poland be Poland". Will you call those who chant these phrases nationalists&boo them? pic.twitter.com/VtmLNkMcv0— Ukraine's Emb. to UK (@UkrEmbLondon) July 9, 2018
As it was reported earlier, on July 7, after Croatia’s win against Russian team, Vida and team’s coach Ognjen Vukojević posted a video, where the player chants ‘Glory to Ukraine’ and Vukojević says: “This win is for Dynamo and for Ukraine. Go, Croatia!”
British agency The Sun called “Glory to Ukraine” “the chant which the Ukrainian army and the nationalist cause that is opposed to Russian territorial claims on the country.”
Independent agency called “Glory to Ukraine” "a populist phrase that continues to be used by many Ukrainians after the events of 2014, when a pro-Russian government in Kiev was overturned, Russia annexed Crimea, and conflict broke out in eastern Ukraine."
FIFA rules do not allow political statements of the football players so it issued a warning to a Croatia player who praised Ukraine, according to the Washington Post. Vida was a star of Croatia’s win on penalties over Russia on Saturday, scoring a header in extra time and converting a penalty in the shootout.
Vida and Vukojevic played together at Ukrainian club Dynamo Kyiv. Later, Vida commented on the accusations:
“It wasn’t a political message, but a gratitude to Ukraine where we played many years, for support. We did not want to offend anyone. I have many friends both in Ukraine and Russia and I am proud of this friendship. I am glad to know Russian language and I like Russian hospitability during the World Cup and I sincerely hope that this message will not be taken other than one expessing gratitude to our friends in Ukraine for their support – not in the game with Russia, but during the whole championship,” Vida said.