On Sunday, the chairman of the Ukrainian football administration, Andriy Pavelko, revealed his the newest kit in the country, which included a yellow shirt with some Ukrainian slogans and a country scheme – wait … is that Crimea?
That jersey, which the Ukrainian football team will wear next Euro 2020 Championship, is already the subject of controversy. The territory of Crimea – presented on the shirts as part of Ukraine – was illegal annex (read: invaded) by Russia in 2014. The territory is still in dispute, with most of the international community on one side and Russia on the other. While the international community without participation in the annexation still recognizes Crimea as a territory of Ukraine, Russia does not. Following the Ukrainian’s attempt to defend himself in Russia, the two slogans of the uniform translate into “Glory to Ukraine!” and “Glory to the heroes!” Both sentences are common Ukrainian military greetings.
As you can imagine, Russia doesn’t take these new shirts too kindly. A spokesman for Russia’s Foreign Ministry referred to those phrases as nationalist and recalling the cries of Nazi demonstrations during World War II. Russian politician Dmitry Svichev he called the new kits a “political provocation” and was quoted as saying it was “illegal” for Ukraine to show a map of its country that includes Russian territory, despite the fact that Crimea is still internationally recognized as and Ukrainian territory.
However, there is not much that Russia can do about the situation. The kit was approved by the Union of European Football Associations, and a statement from UEFA was released shortly after the uniforms were revealed saying “[the uniforms are] in accordance with the applicable regulations of the equipment. “Other bodies to express their support for the Ukrainian kit include the US Embassy in Kiev (the capital of Ukraine), which posted on Twitter a picture of the new jerseys with the caption” Love the new look . Glory to Ukraine! #CrimeaisUkraine ».
Ukraine’s first match in the Euro 2020 Championship is set for this Sunday, June 13, at 3pm ET against the Netherlands. Ukraine is in Group C. Russia, in Group B, will play as a host for several group stage matches, and St. Petersburg will also be the venue for one of the quarter-final matches on the 2nd. of July. Therefore, it is possible that the Ukrainian team could end up playing a game in Russia if the cards fall accordingly. If they do, there is no doubt that there will be a lot of tension in the air at first.