Ukraine’s Euro 2020 football kit angers Russia – POLITICO Europe

The unveiling of Ukraine’s kit for the 2020 European Football Championship belatedly starting this week has caused an angry response from Russia due to its depiction of of the country’s borders not excluding Russian-annexed Crimea.

The shirt displays a map of Ukraine including Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014, and Donetsk and Lugansk, both controlled by pro-Russian separatists. The slogan “Glory to Ukraine!” on the back is known for having been popular during the demonstrations that ousted pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych in 2014.

“The Ukrainian football team, in its uniform, annexed the territory of Ukraine to the Russian Crimea,” Russia’s Foreign Affairs Department Press Director Maria Zakharova said, adding that the slogan is “a copy of the famous German National Socialist greetings.” Russian MPs have called the kit “totally inappropriate” and a “political provocation,” according to the BBC.

Andrii Pavelko, the president of the Ukrainian Association of Football, who on Sunday posted pictures of the kit on Facebook, said that he believes “Ukraine’s silhouette will give strength to the players because they will fight for all of Ukraine.”

“The shirt of the Ukrainian national team (and of all other teams) for Uefa Euro 2020 has been approved by Uefa, in accordance with the applicable equipment regulations,” the European football governing body said in a statement to the BBC.