Ukraine decided to go political with the design of its new kit and Russia is reportedly not happy with some of the details on the jersey.
Just like every other national team, Ukraine decided to release their 2020 new kit ahead of the European Championship (Euro 2020) which will kick off on June 11. The new kit retained the traditional yellow color but came with extra details.
One of the details that Ukraine decided to add to the design is the map of the country which showed the country’s borders. That was not just the part that angered Russia, Ukraine included Crimea, a part of the country that Russia had annexed.
The history between Russia and Ukraine as far as Crimea is concerned is a long one. Though the United Nations and other Western powers believe that Crimea legally belongs to Ukraine, Russia has taken ownership of the Peninsula since February 2014.
Since then, Russia continued to use its military might to protect the territory which used to be theirs in 1783 before it was given to Ukraine in 1954 by the then Soviet Union which Russia was a part of.
Aside from the map on the shirt, a slogan which is translated to “Glory to the heroes” was emblazoned on the back of the new kit. The slogan is common among Ukrainians especially when the hostilities between the country and Russia gained global attention in 2014.
Hence, the new kit of the Ukrainian national team is seen as a disapproval of Russia’s forceful takeover of the Peninsula and the authorities in Moscow are said not to be happy.
In reaction to the new kit, a Russian Member of Parliament, Dmitry Svishchev described the shirt as being “inappropriate” and urged the European football governing body, UEFA to disapprove it.
However, a statement UEFA released to the BBC insisted that the Ukrainian jersey and the kits of other national teams that would participate in the Euro 2020 have been approved.
“The shirt of the Ukrainian national team for Uefa Euro 2020 has been approved by Uefa, by the applicable equipment regulations”, the statement read.
To further annoy Russian authorities, the verified Twitter page of the US embassy in Ukraine, tweeted the shirt with the caption: “love the new look”.
As it stands, no one is certain how far the Russian government might want to react to the design of the new kit. In some quarters, fears are already rising over the possibility that the Russian army might invade Ukraine to register the country’s disapproval of the map on the jersey.