Russian Football Union presses UEFA over Ukraine’s politically-inciteful uniforms

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MOSCOW, June 8. /TASS/. The Russian Football Union (RFU) filed an official letter with the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) requesting the European football body study an allegedly politically-motivated slogan on the Ukrainian national team’s uniforms ahead of the 2020 UEFA Euro Cup, the RFU press office announced to TASS in a statement on Tuesday.

UEFA approved uniforms on Monday for the Ukrainian national team at the 2020 UEFA Euro Cup. The Ukrainian national team’s outfits for the upcoming championship feature slogans of Ukrainian nationalists, ‘Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the heroes!’ The uniforms also demonstrate a blurred image outlining Ukraine’s state borders, which include the territories in Donbass and also the territory of Russia’s Crimea.

“We have sent a letter to UEFA asking the organization to focus on the use of political slogans displayed on the uniforms of the Ukrainian national team,” the statement reads. “The slogans displayed contradict the basic principles of UEFA’s regulations regarding the prohibition of all political manifestations.”

“Football is a sport, which must always remain beyond politics,” the statement from the RFU continued. “We believe, that with the approval of such uniforms, UEFA paves the way for attempts by other countries to use their national teams’ uniforms in the future at other global tournaments as a tool for their political manifestations.”

On June 7, UEFA’s press service announced that the Union of European Football Associations had approved the Ukrainian national team gear for the upcoming European Football Championship “in accordance with the applicable equipment regulations.”

2020 UEFA Euro Cup

Russia is set to embark on its journey for the UEFA Euro Cup by playing group stage matches against the national teams of Belgium (home on June 12), Finland (home on June 16) and Denmark (away on June 21).

On March 17, 2020, UEFA announced it was postponing the 2020 UEFA Euro Cup for exactly one year as a preventive measure against the ongoing global spread of the novel coronavirus.

The championship was rescheduled to be held between June 11 and July 11, 2021 and Russia’s second-largest city of St. Petersburg was picked. It was among the 12 cities initially proposed in Europe to host the European championship’s matches. St. Petersburg was granted the right to host three group stage matches and one of the quarterfinals of the 2020 UEFA Euro Cup.

However, on April 23, St. Petersburg was granted the right to host three additional matches of the UEFA Euro Cup after Ireland’s Dublin and Spain’s Bilbao pulled out of the organization of the European football championship’s games citing anti-COVID-19 measures.

Following the pullout of Bilbao and Dublin from the list of the championship’s hosting cities, the rescheduled 2020 UEFA Euro Cup is now set to be staged in 11 cities, namely in London, England; Munich, Germany; Rome, Italy; Baku, Azerbaijan; St. Petersburg, Russia; Bucharest, Romania; Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Budapest, Hungary; Glasgow, Scotland; Copenhagen, Denmark; and Seville, Spain.