UEFA asks Ukraine team to change shirts after Russian protests


UEFA has decided: players of the Ukrainian team will not be able to play Euro football with their official jersey, which features a motif representing a map of Ukraine including Crimea. Russia officially protested. UEFA notably judged ” Politics “ the mention “Glory to our heroes”, denounced by Moscow.

Ukraine players’ outfits for Euro anger Russia

“After a more in-depth analysis”, this slogan chanted during the popular anti-Russian uprising in Maidan in 2014, is “Clearly political in nature” and “Must therefore be withdrawn […] in view of UEFA’s competitive matches ”, the body told AFP on Thursday, June 10.

A slogan contrary to the regulations

Russia had complained that Ukraine’s jersey features the map of the country including Crimea, annexed militarily by the Russians in 2014, and two slogans deemed political, “Glory to Ukraine” and “Glory to our heroes. “. It is only this last slogan, appearing inside the collar of the Ukrainian tunic, which has been deemed political by UEFA and therefore contrary to its regulations.

The double formula “Glory to Ukraine!” Glory to the Heroes ”, taken from a patriotic song, became a rallying cry during Maidan’s pro-Western popular uprising in 2014, which ousted a Kremlin-backed president Viktor Yanukovych and led Moscow to invade the Crimea and annex it.

The Russian authorities also associate these slogans with nationalist groups of the Second World War which fought the Soviets. The Russian Football Federation developed these arguments on Tuesday in a letter sent to UEFA denouncing the new Ukrainian shirt.

“Be sports heroes and you will have the glory, it is thus and not with nationalist slogans that you will honor the motherland”, said the spokesperson for Russian diplomacy, Maria Zakharova, to Ukraine, reacting on Telegram to the decision of the European football body. “Sport is not a battlefield, but of competition, it is not a political arena. “



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