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Why Ukraine’s new football kit is provoking outrage in Russia

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Ukraine’s Euro 2020 football kit has provoked anger in Moscow, Russia, according to reports from Europe.

The head of the Ukrainian football association, Andriy Pavelko, had revealed the kit in a video on his Facebook page on Sunday.

The yellow shirt shows the contours of Ukraine in white, including Crimea and the pro-Russian separatist-controlled regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, and the slogan “Glory to Ukraine!”

Russia had annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine in 2014, and considers it a part of its territory, something rejected internationally.

The European football’s governing body Uefa, according to the BBC, already said: “The shirt of the Ukrainian national team (and of all other teams) for Uefa Euro 2020 has been approved by Uefa, in accordance with the applicable equipment regulations.”

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A slogan on the back of the jersey reads “Glory to Ukraine!” – a patriotic chant used as a rallying cry by protesters who forced out a pro-Moscow president, Viktor Yanukovych, in 2014.

Another slogan – “Glory to the heroes!” – is stitched on the inside of the shirt collar.

Both it and “Glory to Ukraine!” are used as official military greetings in Ukraine.

But Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova criticised the kits, saying the football team had “attached Ukraine’s territory to Russia’s Crimea”, creating the “illusion of the impossible”.

She said the slogan was nationalistic and echoed a Nazi rallying cry.

Russian MP Dmitry Svishchev called the shirt “totally inappropriate” and urged Uefa to take action.

Euro 2020, initially billed to take place last year was postponed due to Covid-19 pandemic, and will now run from 11 June to 11 July across 11 host cities.

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