The Ukrainian shirt design, in its yellow and blue colors, includes a map of the country that includes Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014 after the overthrow of the regime of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who is close to Russia. Moscow late 2013, but the majority of countries the world It did not recognize this annexation, and international law still recognizes Crimea as Ukrainian territory.
Andriy Pavelko, head of the Ukrainian Football Federation, published a picture of the new uniform on his Facebook page, last Sunday, expressing his pride in this uniform as a symbol of the “undivided homeland”, which would inflame the feelings of the players for “The Rivalry for the Whole of Ukraine”.
For her part, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova denounced the inclusion of Crimea with the map of Ukraine on the shirt of her national team, describing it as a “desperate act”, as she described it.
“The Ukrainian national football team combined the borders of Ukraine and the Russian Crimea, in a desperate and deceitful act,” Zakharova wrote on her account on “Telegram.”
For its part, the Russian Football Association announced that it had written to UEFA to condemn the new shirt of the Ukrainian national team in the European Cup, which begins on Friday, because it had to draw the Crimea and national emblems.
And the Russian media quoted the National Football Association as saying that in this letter addressed to the European Football Association “UEFA”: “We draw attention to the use of slogans with a political background on the shirt of the Ukrainian national team, which contradicts the basic principles of the UEFA regulations in Regarding sports equipment.
However, it was remarkable what was stated by the spokesman for the Russian presidency, Dmitry Peskov, who denied the possibility that the atmosphere of the European Championship would be characterized by “political tension” between Moscow and Kiev. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
“Sport is a sport, and we must rise above incitement and spreading hatred between Russians and Ukrainians. We have always been against this,” Peskov said.
Ukraine and Russia had qualified for the European Championship, in which 24 teams participated, but the European Football Association, in force since 2014 to separate national teams and club teams, prevented the teams of the two countries from facing each other in the scheduled matches, and the draw was also transferred. The tournament is without a confrontation between Ukraine and Russia in the round of 16, knowing that Russia will host seven matches of the tournament in St. Petersburg, and Ukraine will not participate in any of them.
Ukraine participates in the European Cup in Group C, along with the Netherlands, North Macedonia and Austria, while Russia plays in Group B along with Belgium, Finland and Denmark in this three-month tournament, which was scheduled to take place in the summer of last year, but the Corona virus pandemic The organizers called for it to be postponed for the current year.