After UEFA asked him to remove a political slogan denounced by Russia from his shirt, Ukraine was able to keep his equipment for Euro football, on condition that the inscription was concealed with a mini-map of the country. .
Asked on June 10 by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) to remove from its jersey a political slogan denounced by Russia, Ukraine obtained on June 11 to keep its equipment for the Euro football by concealing this mention with a mini-map of the country.
“They will cover it up, and this will be checked by the delegate [de l’UEFA] before each match, ”a spokesperson for the European body told AFP. She believes that this practical arrangement is “no different from what has been decided. [la veille]”.
The Ukrainian Football Federation (AUF) had said earlier to have reached a “compromise” with UEFA in this dispute which constitutes the first diplomatic incident of the tournament which opened on June 11 in Rome and will end on July 11 in London.
“The negotiations […] were extremely difficult and found themselves in an impasse on several occasions ”, wrote on Facebook the president of the Ukrainian Football Federation, Andriï Pavelko. The slogan “Glory to the heroes” will be part of a new element added to the interior of the jersey, he said, adding that it “will certainly become a real lucky charm for our guys”, without further details.
According to UEFA, the Ukrainian selection will hide this phrase embroidered inside the collar of the yellow and blue tunic with a fabric representing the map of Ukraine surrounding the logo of the federation. “So we will not see it from the inside, or from the outside”, assures the instance. However, this map of the country – which also appears on the front of the shirt – was one of the three elements disputed by Russia, when it seized UEFA earlier this week to have the Ukrainian kit changed. Moscow complained that this map of Ukraine included Crimea – reunited with Russia in 2014 after a referendum – as well as the self-proclaimed republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, controlled by rebels from eastern Ukraine. who refuse to recognize the authorities resulting from the Maidan coup.
A slogan “clearly of a political and militarist nature”
On June 10, UEFA had validated a map of Ukraine appearing on the front of the shirt and including Crimea as well as the eastern territories, believing that it corresponded to “the country’s internationally recognized borders”. She also refused to remove the words “Glory to Ukraine” from the front of the shirt but, “after a more in-depth analysis”, the body invalidated this slogan “clearly of a political nature, having historical and militarist significance” .
The double formula “Glory to Ukraine!” Glory to the heroes ”, refers to a patriotic song that has become a rallying cry for the demonstrators who had ousted former President Viktor Yanukovych during the coup. Moscow did not fail to recall that these slogans were also used by those who cooperated with the Nazis during World War II. According to the Ukrainian federation, the design will however remain unchanged on the “millions” of jerseys intended for the general public, which will therefore openly proclaim “Glory to the heroes”.
“Sport is not a battlefield but a competition field. It is not a political arena but an arena for sports performances. Be sports heroes and you will have glory: it is thus and not with nationalist slogans that you will honor the motherland, ”commented the spokeswoman for Russian diplomacy, Maria Zakharova, reacting on Telegram. Ukraine are in Group C and will start their competition on June 13 against the Netherlands, before facing North Macedonia and then Austria. Russia is in Group B, with Belgium, which they will face this evening of June 12, Finland and Denmark. Ukraine and Russia will not be able to face each other before the quarter-finals of the Euro.