Ahead of European Championship 2020, Ukraine national football team released its kit, showing, what looks like a map of the Russian-annexed Crimean peninsula in the T-shirt around the team’s crest. The shirt also reads “Glory to Ukraine!”. This triggered a controversy, as a Russian MP said that it was a “political provocation”, reported BBC.
The Ukrainian shirt is covered with traditional yellow colour, and the crest is surrounded by a map that includes such as Lugansk and Donetsk. And the slogan “Glory to Ukraine” is placed on the back, which is a chant used by protesters, reported BBC.
Russian empire first annexed Crimea following the Russo-Turkish War, in 1783. And in 1954, the Soviet Union transferred the peninsula to the Ukrainian SSR from the Russian SFSR. But after the Soviet Union ended, Ukraine became an independent state in 1991, and a major section of the peninsula was established as the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.
"We believe that Ukraine's silhouette will give strength to the players because they will fight for all of Ukraine", said Andriy Pavelko, the head of the Ukrainian football association. But the foreign ministry of Russia criticised the kit, saying that the team “attached Ukraine's territory to Russia's Crimea", an “illusion of the impossible”. She added that the slogan reflected a cry of a Nazi rally, reported BBC.
MP Dmitry Svishchev said that the kit was “totally inappropriate” and and urged UEFA, the football tournament organising committee, to take actions, reported BBC.