KShortly before the start of the European Football Championship, the Ukrainians’ jersey met with protests from neighboring Russia. A silhouette of the country has been printed on the yellow-blue shirts with the Ukrainian Black Sea peninsula of Crimea incorporated by Russia. This is one of the reasons why both countries have been in conflict since 2014. The new jerseys with the battle cry “Glory of Ukraine! The Heroes Glory! ”Were featured on Facebook on Sunday.
The spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Sakharova, spoke of a “desperate art operation” that is supposed to give the players strength. State Duma deputy Vitaly Milonov asked UEFA to ban the motif. “This is a political slogan that shouldn’t be on the jerseys,” he told the “Sport-Express” portal. That is a violation of international rules. Sport should not be mixed up with politics.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the Tass state agency that an official reaction from UEFA had to be awaited first. In general, UEFA and FIFA are careful not to politicize sport. If the teams from Russia and Ukraine meet at the European Championships, that will “not trigger any political tension,” said Peskow. “Sport is sport.”
“Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the hero! “
UEFA announced that the jersey had been approved in accordance with the rules. The Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Twitter on Monday: “I really like the new clothes of our national team.” He wanted to say to critics: “We do not allow our national symbols to be insulted.”
The slogan “Glory of Ukraine!” Has been used on the shirts of the Ukrainian national team since 2018. “Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the hero! ”Has been the official greeting of the Ukrainian army and police for three years. Historically, it was used by Ukrainian nationalists from the 1930s. Because of their collaboration with the German occupiers during the Second World War and because of ethnic cleansing in western Ukraine by nationalist partisans, the slogan was outlawed for a long time.
In terms of sport, the Ukrainians were not impressed and a few days before the start of the European Championship they got in the mood for the tournament with a clear victory. Coach Andrei Shevchenko’s team won 4-0 (2-0) against Cyprus on Monday evening in Kharkiv after a long time. Andrej Jarmolenko (37.) gave the Ukrainians the lead with a penalty kick after Cyprus’s Andreas Panagiotou had inflicted the penalty with an emergency brake and seen the red card (36.).
Alexander Zintschenko (45th + 2) converted a hand penalty shortly before the half-time whistle. Roman Yaremchuk (59th) and again Jarmolenko (65th) were successful after the break. Ukraine will play in European Championship group C against the opening opponents Netherlands (June 13th) as well as against Austria and newcomer North Macedonia.