News : European football championship and the Crimean crisis: Russia is annoyed by Ukraine’s jerseys
The presentation of the shirts of the Ukrainian national soccer team for the European Championship caused outrage in Russia. This is because the kits show the outline of Ukraine including Russia-annexed Crimea and the separatist-controlled regions of Donetsk and Lugansk.
The head of the Ukrainian football association, Pawelko, described the jersey as a symbol of an undivided homeland. It will inspire the Ukrainian footballers to fight for “all of Ukraine”, which also includes Sevastopol, Donetsk and Lugansk. A spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry called the jerseys a desperate gesture by Ukraine.
Russia occupied Crimea in 2014 and annexed it after a referendum with the Sevastopol naval base. However, this is hardly recognized internationally. Russia also supports rebels in Donetsk and Lugansk.
The slogan also causes outrage
The slogan “Glory of Ukraine, Glory to Heroes”, printed on the jerseys, has also been criticized. For decades it has stood for Ukraine’s struggle for independence.
The European football association Uefa said that Ukraine’s jerseys had been approved according to the equipment rules. Both countries have qualified for the tournament, which starts on June 11th.