Ukraine Jersey for Euro 2020 Sparks Outrage

The design of the new costume or jersey for the Ukrainian national team for Euro 2020 aka Euro 2020 has reportedly sparked “outrage” in Russia. Previously, Ukraine has launched a new model of the national team jersey, which is decorated with a map image covering the Crimea region. This, according to Russian officials, was considered a political provocation, as quoted by Reuters on Tuesday (8/6/2021).

Russia claimed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in 2014 and considered it part of its territory, but was rejected internationally. The head of the Ukrainian Football Federation (UAF), Andriy Pavelko, previously revealed parts of the jersey in a video on his Facebook page, days before Euro 2020 kicks off. The front of the jersey shows the contours of Ukraine in white, including Crimea and the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

The jersey also has the slogan “Glory to Ukraine!” and “Glory to the Heroes!”, a phrase commonly used in Ukrainian military greetings. “We believe the Ukrainian silhouette will give strength to the players because they will fight for all of Ukraine,” Pavelko said.

Regarding this, Dmitry Svishchev, a member of the Russian parliament, said the design contained a “political provocation”. He said showing a map of Ukraine covering Russian territory was illegal.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova also criticized the jersey. “Connecting Ukrainian territory to Russian Crimea creates the illusion of the impossible,” Zakharova said. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the choice of Ukraine’s uniform was the prerogative rights of tournament organizers. Asked if Ukraine’s uniform could cause problems if Ukraine and Russia faced each other in the knockout stages, Peskov said, “Sport is a sport and we must overcome the incitement of hatred between Russia and Ukraine.”

Meanwhile, the European Football Agency (UEFA) stated that all jerseys from Euro 2020 participants had been approved. “Ukraine national team shirts (and all other teams) for Euro 2020 have been approved by UEFA, in accordance with applicable regulations,” UEFA said in a statement.

At the Euro 2020 tournament, Russia is in Group B with Belgium, Denmark and Finland. Ukraine is in C with Austria, the Netherlands and North Macedonia. The Euro 2020 event will take place from 12 June to 12 July 2021. The tournament will take place in 11 host cities, including Saint Petersburg Russia, which will host the quarter-finals.

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