The Union of European Football Associations has no claims to the new design of the uniform of the Ukrainian national football team, in which it will perform at the European Championship. It's worth reminding that this form depicts the contours of the country's borders together with the Crimea. And besides that, the slogan “Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the Heroes!”, Which in Russia is associated with Ukrainian nationalists and the extreme right.
“The Ukrainian national team will perform at Euro 2020 in a new special uniform. Its main attribute will be a talisman and symbol dear to the heart of every Ukrainian. This is the most valuable forecast for all of us in our country. The only and indivisible homeland with Crimea, Donetsk, Lugansk, Kiev, native Dnieper, Lvov, Odessa and all cities and villages, where the main melody of the national anthem is the melody of the folk age. Where on "Glory to Ukraine!" answer "Glory to the heroes!" and which will now also be in shape and will inspire our players to win new victories”, - said the head of the Ukrainian Football Association Andriy Pavelko on his blog.
In the regulations of the European Championship, two paragraphs are devoted to these issues:
Article 54.2. “The participating associations must wear uniforms that have been approved by the UEFA administration. Samples of any new play apparel must be sent to the UEFA administration for approval at least four weeks prior to their intended use”.
Article 54.4. “The final tournament kits used by the participating associations must be sent to the UEFA administration, which will confirm the exact approval procedure. Based on this procedure, the UEFA administration will issue a decision to approve or reject various items".
Therefore, having failed to find any crime in the new uniform, UEFA announced that it had no complaints against it.
Of course, these circumstances - both the uniform itself and the attitude towards it in UEFA - caused a negative reaction in Russia. There have even been calls to boycott the European Championship, fortunately, so far they are quite marginal. But in the State Duma, the UEFA decision on the Ukrainian uniform was called a "serious mistake" and even a "policy of double standards", and the RT propaganda channel cited the views of the deputies with the following preamble:
“No matter how much you say 'halva', your mouth will not become sweeter. No matter how much you draw such maps, it will in no way bring Crimea closer to Ukraine”.
The new uniform of the Ukrainian national football team, which depicts the outlines of the country with the "included" Crimea, as well as a nationalist slogan, was criticized in the State Duma, Federation Council and sports functionaries. UEFA says that the equipment of all teams has been approved "in accordance with the rules".
Sergei Tsekov, member of the Federation Council Committee on International Affairs from the Republic of Crimea, noted that UEFA's actions contradict the organization's own convictions: “For European countries, sport and politics are one, despite all the statements. They follow the lead of certain political decisions and considerations on the part of Ukraine. This is definitely a provocation".
“Ukraine is slowly forgotten, the world is full of other problems. Now on the agenda is a historic meeting between the presidents of America and Russia. Ukraine is looking for any reason to remind about itself. Who looks at the form? I didn’t even understand what was shown on their form. We don't have to do anything about it. Let's play football and discuss the quality of our team on the eve of the European Championship. Journalists should calm down, all troubles are from you”, - said State Duma deputy Igor Lebedev.
State Duma Deputy Sergey Krivonosov also called the decision erroneous with a political background: “At the same time, the UEFA rules in this sense are rather vague. There is a committee that should raise such things. I think it is necessary for the specialists to work out this issue in the legal plane”.
“According to the regulations on the championship, it’s not easy to do so. This is a political slogan that has no right to be on the form. If the UEFA leadership is not blind, it will ban Ukraine from wearing this uniform. This is a violation of the principle of international sports - sport is out of politics! Personally, I don't give a damn what is depicted on the Ukrainian uniform. If it was a strong team, then yes. And these are small outsiders. After the first big loss, they will be forgotten. No one is interested in this Ukraine”, - said State Duma deputy Vitaly Milonov.
RFU Honorary President Vyacheslav Koloskov called on the organization to publicly explain its decision: “They refer to the rules, but do not quote them. When I was in the executive committees of UEFA and FIFA, there was a regulation on equipment. Perhaps the regulations have changed, but the image of such a card, of course, can be considered a political image. How else?"