Ukraine’s new jersey for Euro 2020 has sparked outrage in Russia.
The President of the Ukrainian Football Federation Andriy Pavelko announced the new jersey by posting a picture of him on his official page on the social networking site “Facebook”.
The new shirt appears in the usual yellow color with a map of Ukraine engraved on the chest, and that map included Crimea, which Russia annexed to its territory in 2014.
The T-shirt reads: “Glory to Ukraine, glory to the heroes.”
Russia considers Crimea part of its territory, despite international recognition that it is Ukrainian territory.
“This is the most valuable blueprint for our country for all of us,” Pavelko wrote, commenting on the image of the shirt.
“A united and indivisible homeland with Crimea, Donetsk, Luhansk, Kiev, Dniepern, Lvov, Odessa, all cities and villages, where the main melody from childhood is the melody of the national anthem,” he continued.
The announcement of the Ukraine shirt provoked a violent reaction from political officials in Russia.
Russian State Duma deputy Dmitriy Sevchov described the shirt as a “political provocation”, and called on the European Football Association “Wifa” to take urgent measures to prevent the shirt from appearing at Euro 2020.
“Ukraine has linked Ukraine’s territory to Russias Crimea, creating an impossible illusion,” said Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry.
She also said that the nationalist phrases on the shirt were copied from the Nazi salute, and that they were part of the ongoing state propaganda in Kiev.
The region, which is located in southern Ukraine next to the Russian city of Krasnodar, has been disputed between the two countries for centuries.
Since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, Crimea has been recognized as part of Ukraine, but Russia annexed it in 2014 and claims control of the region.
The United Nations did not recognize Russian control of the area, and called for Russian forces to leave it on several occasions.
The Ukrainian national team was placed in Group C along with the Netherlands, North Macedonia and Austria.
The Russian national team was placed in Group B along with Belgium, Finland and Denmark.
Fortunately, the meeting of the Okrana with Russia will be impossible, unless the two teams reach the final rounds of the tournament.