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FIFA says UEFA responsible for Ukrainian national team’s outfits ahead of 2020 Euro Cup

The FIFA press office claimed that "the approval of the equipment of the participating teams rests at the discretion of the relevant competition organizer"

MOSCOW, June 8. /TASS/. The world governing football body, FIFA, announced to TASS on Tuesday that it is up to the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) to decide on national teams’ design of uniforms for the 2020 UEFA Euro Cup.

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

The Ukrainian national team’s uniforms for the upcoming championship feature slogans chanted by Ukrainian nationalists, namely: ‘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.

"The approval of the equipment of the participating teams rests at the discretion of the relevant competition organizer, in this case, UEFA," the FIFA press office told TASS in a statement. "Similarly, the competition organizer has the right to set applicable equipment regulations to which participating teams must comply."

"In doing so, the competition organizers are required to ensure that any equipment used is in line with the Laws of the Game as issued by the International Football Board [IFAB], and which can be accessed by the public at the IFAB official website," according to FIFA. "In keeping with the above, as the competition in question is not organized by FIFA it does not fall under our immediate responsibility."

"However, we would like to reiterate that as per the FIFA Statutes, FIFA remains neutral in matters of politics and we firmly believe that politics and sport should not mix," the statement added.

Earlier in the day, the Russian Football Union (RFU) filed an official letter with UEFA requesting the European football body to study an allegedly politically-motivated slogan on the Ukrainian national team’s uniforms.

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.