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Russia escalates Euro 2020 football kit row with Ukraine

Published: in European News by .

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy entered the fray, saying the team’s football kit ‘knows how to shock.’

Russia has officially complained over Ukraine’s kit for Euro 2020, which Moscow says has “political motives.”

In the letter of complaint to UEFA, European football’s governing body, the Russian football federation reportedly said: “We draw attention to the use of political motives on the Ukrainian national team’s jersey, which goes against the basic principles of the UEFA kit regulations.”

But in a statement, UEFA told the BBC the jersey “has been approved by UEFA, in accordance with the applicable equipment regulations.”

The shirt displays a map of Ukraine including Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014, and Donetsk and Luhansk, both controlled by pro-Russia separatists. It also says “Glory to Ukraine!” on the back and “Glory to heroes!” inside the collar, slogans which were popular during the demonstrations that ousted Ukraine’s pro-Russian former President Viktor Yanukovych in 2014.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy entered the fray on Tuesday, saying the kit is “definitely special,” in an Instagram post.

The uniform “knows how to shock. It features several important symbols that unite Ukrainians from Luhansk to Uzhhorod, from Chernihiv to Sevastopol,” Zelenskiy said. “Our country is one and indivisible. Crimea is Ukraine.”

Euro 2020, delayed by a year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, begins in Rome on Friday and will be held in 11 cities around Europe, including St. Petersburg in Russia.


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