Euro 2020: UEFA has ordered Ukraine to remove the political slogan from its uniform

Following a protest from Russia, UEFA has ordered Ukraine to remove the words “Glory to the Heroes” from the inside of its new national team shirt ahead of the European Championship for political reasons.

The map, as well as the phrase “Glory to Ukraine” on the outside of the shirt, was not the concern. However, the “specific combination of the two slogans is regarded to be political in nature, with historic and militaristic significance,” and that the slogan inside the shirt must therefore be removed.

Ukraine said the shirt is a symbol of national togetherness and President Volodymyr Zelenskiy shared a selfie with it on Instagram this week. After the annexation of Crimea and the launch of a Russian-backed separatist war in eastern Ukraine in 2014, relations between Moscow and Kyiv worsened dramatically.

On Thursday, Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova commented on the kit controversy, saying that sport and politics should not be intermingled. “Sports is not a battlefield, but a place for competition; it is not a political arena but an athletic one” she said. On June 12, Russia will face Belgium, the world’s top-ranked team in its opener on home turf in St Petersburg. Russia will also face Finland on June 16 and Denmark on June 22 in Group B.

Ukraine will meet the Netherlands in their first Euro 2020 match on June 13 in Amsterdam. In Group C, it will also face Austria and North Macedonia.

 

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