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UEFA approves Ukraine shirt with map featuring Crimea

UEFA has told Ukraine to remove a political slogan from its jerseys for Euro 2020, but a map that includes Crimea has been allowed to remain.

Ukraine allowed to keep map featuring Crimea on jersey but ordered by UEFA to remove slogan

Ukraine will be allowed to wear their new Euro 2020 jersey that depicts a map of the country featuring Crimea, but UEFA has ordered them to remove a slogan deemed to carry "militaristic significance".

The kit, styled in the national team's traditional yellow and blue, features a subtle outline surrounding the badge that shows the country's borders.

Following its reveal over the weekend, Russian politicians and officials were quick to criticise the map's inclusion of Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014 but is still internationally recognised as part of Ukraine.

The shirt also contains the inscriptions "Glory to Ukraine" and "Glory to heroes", each of which is acknowledged as an official military greeting in the country.

Russian protestations included an official complaint to UEFA regarding the map and the slogans. The governing body has seemingly sided with Ukraine regarding the depiction of Crimea but not the use of military language.

UEFA backs version of Ukraine map on Euro 2020 shirts

Addressing the use of the map, a UEFA statement read: "Following concerns raised by the Russian Football Union, UEFA today reconfirmed its position regarding the design element on the front of the Ukraine national team shirt.

"Considering that the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 68/262, which was widely approved by the member states, recognizes the territorial borders as broadly depicted by the design, UEFA does not require any modifications of this design element as it meets the criteria laid out in article 12 of the UEFA Equipment Regulations."

The context surrounding the use of the slogans was more nuanced, however, as UEFA accepted that "Glory to our heroes" used in conjunction with "Glory to Ukraine" does have political connotations.

"UEFA also confirmed that the slogan on the outside of the shirt 'Glory to Ukraine' was approved in 2018 and reiterated that UEFA considers this to be in accordance with articles 13 and 19 of the UEFA Equipment Regulations," the statement continued.

"This slogan on its own may be considered as a generic and non-political phrase of general national significance and therefore may be used on the national team shirt.

"UEFA then carefully considered the recently added slogan on the inside of the collar 'Glory to our heroes', which was included in the new shirt sample submitted to UEFA which was subsequently validated in December 2020.

"At that time however, the significance created by the combination of the two slogans was not considered. Following further analysis, this specific combination of the two slogans is deemed to be clearly political in nature, having historic and militaristic significance.

"This specific slogan on the inside of the shirt must therefore be removed for use in UEFA competition matches, in accordance with article 5 of the UEFA Equipment Regulations."

Ukraine begin their Euro 2020 campaign against the Netherlands on June 13 and also face Austria and North Macedonia in Group C.

Russia, who start against Belgium on June 12, are joined by Denmark and Finland in Group B.