Ukraine's EURO 2020 jersey with Crimea map provoked Moscow

Canan Kevser
10 June 2021, 16:14
Canan Kevser
10 June 2021, 16:14

The Ukrainian national football team's UEFA Euro 2020 jersey has provoked Russia, causing a crisis with the country.

Particularly, Moscow was offended over the slogans and the map, which includes the Crimean Peninsula, an internationally recognized territory of Ukraine but occupied by Russia in 2014.

The new design was unveiled on June 7 by the president of the Football Federation of Ukraine, Andriy Pavelko, who said that "all Ukraine, from Sevastopol and Simferopol to Kyiv, from Donetsk and Luhansk to Uzhhorod will support them in every match."

Pavelko said that Ukrainian players would wear a special jersey in the Euro 2020, which is set to start on Friday. Pavelko said the shirts also feature the slogans "Glory to Ukraine!" and "Glory to the heroes!" on their collars.

"Glory to the heroes!"

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova slammed the Ukrainian national team on social media, saying Ukraine's attempt to attach Crimea to its territory through the jerseys meant creating the "illusion of the impossible.”

Russian State Duma deputy Dmitry Svishchev called on UEFA to ban Ukraine's Euro 2020 kit, because, in his opinion, it is "an expression of a certain political position" that differs from Moscow's position.

European football's governing body said the Ukrainian shirt "has been approved by UEFA, in accordance with the applicable equipment regulations."

Russia complained to UEFA the next day over the issue, saying it wanted an "explanation" over the why the jerseys, seen in Moscow as a "political provocation," were approved.

European soccer's governing body said on June 10 that while a map on Ukraine's new jersey for the tournament was not an issue. However, the UEFA said that the combination of two phrases, "Glory to Ukraine" and "Glory to the heroes" was political in nature and should be removed.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky wrote on Instagram on Wednesday that the new kit of Ukraine's national football team is "definitely special."

"It can shock. It features several important symbols that unite Ukrainians from Luhansk to Uzhgorod, from Chernihiv to Sevastopol. Our country is one and indivisible. Crimea is Ukraine," Zelensky said.

The Euro 2020 championship was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic and will be played this year from June 11 to July 11.