The Football Union of Russia (UFR) has addressed this Tuesday by letter to UEFA to protest against the shirt that Ukraine will wear during the European Championship and that includes a map of the country with the Crimean peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014.
"Football is a sport that should always be on the fringes of politics. From our point of view, by accepting such kits, UEFA has set a precedent," a UFR source told the Meduza portal. The source added that the next international tournaments will see how other countries use his shirt to make political statements.
The UFR maintains that the kit that the Ukrainian footballers will wear during the European Championship is "politicized", so it must be banned by UEFA, which prohibits "political statements". In this regard, UEFA's press office already responded on Monday in a statement that the highest continental football body approved all jerseys, including the Ukrainian, in accordance with the regulations on official kits.
The shirt, which was presented on Sunday by the Ukrainian Football Association in a video with the coach, Andrei Shevchenko, and the players, sparked protests from Russia, which it considers a "political provocation".
The map of Ukraine, with the appendix of the Crimean peninsula, whose annexation is not recognized by the international community, surrounds the national crest on a kit designed by the Spanish brand Joma.
In addition, it also includes two slogans that in Russia are associated with Ukrainian ultranationalists: "Glory to Ukraine" and "Glory to Heroes". The shirt was released on Monday against Cyprus (4-0) in a preparation match for the European Championship, in which Ukraine will face the Netherlands, Austria and North Macedonia in Group C.
Some Russian politicians have expressed their wish that Russia will face Ukraine in the European Championship. The Ukrainians failed to qualify for the World Cup hosted by Russia in 2018, preventing possible incidents.