Just a day before the start of Euro 2020, Europe’s football governing body UEFA told Ukraine it could keep a map showing Crimea on its new national shirt despite objections from Russia. However, Ukraine has been warned by UEFA that they must remove the phrase “Glory to the heroes” due to military connotations.
Ukraine’s kit has stirred rivalries with Russia because it includes an outline map showing the peninsula of Crimea, which Russia had annexed in 2014 but remains internationally recognised as part of Ukraine. A slogan at the back reads “Glory to Ukraine” while inside the shirt are the words: “Glory to the heroes” – a military greeting in Ukraine. In a statement, UEFA explained the reason behind asking Ukraine to drop the logo.
“This specific combination of the two slogans is deemed to be clearly political in nature, having historic and militaristic significance. This specific slogan on the inside of the shirt must therefore be removed for use in UEFA competition matches.”
However, according to Ukraine, the shirt was a symbol of national unity and President of the Football Association of Ukraine Andriy Pavelko said he had flown to Rome for emergency talks with UEFA. He also insisted that UEFA had earlier given preliminary approval for the design.
The tournament marks the return of top-flight international football. The top 24 nations in Europe will battle it out to earn the ultimate glory with Italy and Turkey battling it out in the opener. This edition will be the 16th in the tournament’s history. Euro 2020 was scheduled to take place last summer, but it was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It is set to be played across numerous cities across Europe. The opening clash between Turkey and Italy will be hosted by Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Friday. Meanwhile, Ukraine will begin their campaign against the Netherlands in Amsterdam Arena.