A new logo on the Ukraine national football team’s shirt has caused outrage in Moscow.
Surrounding the emblem are lines depicting a map of Ukraine, including Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014.
Ukraine revealed the shirt of its national football team participating in the European Championship 2020, which is scheduled to start on June 11, and while the map of the country appears on the front of the shirt, the phrase “Glory to Ukraine” is embroidered on the back.
Russia has considered Crimea since 2014 part of its territory, amid international rejection.
And a Russian parliamentarian considered that what was included in the Ukrainian national team shirt was a “political provocation.”
Andriy Pavelko, head of the Ukrainian Football Federation, revealed the embroidery of his country’s shirt in a video clip on his Facebook page on Sunday, days before the start of the tournament.
On the front of the yellow shirt, Ukraine’s borders are shown in white, including the Crimea and the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which are under the control of pro-Russian separatists.
The phrase “Glory to Ukraine” embroidered on the back of the Ukraine shirt is a slogan chanted by protesters who forced the pro-Russian President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, to step down in 2014.
“We believe that the new jersey will give a boost to the players of the national team who will feel that they are fighting for the whole of Ukraine,” the head of the Ukrainian Football Federation said.
However, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova criticized the map embroidered on the Ukrainian shirt.
Zakharova said that the Ukrainian football team “fantasies the impossible, as it includes the Russian Crimea on the map of Ukraine.”
The Russian official described the slogan on the Ukrainian national team shirt as nationalist and an echo of Nazi slogans.
Russian parliamentarian Dmitry Svishchev described the new Ukrainian national team shirt as “completely inappropriate”, calling on the tournament’s organizers to take action.
The Corona epidemic caused the postponement of the European Championship 2020, hosted by eleven cities, including Saint Petersburg, Russia, which will witness the quarter-final match.