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Russian Sports Ministry waits for UEFA’s response on Ukraine’s uniforms for 2020 Euro Cup

The Ukrainian national team’s uniforms feature slogans chanted by Ukrainian nationalists and demonstrate a blurred image outlining Ukraine’s state borders, which include the territories in Donbass and the territory of Russia’s Crimea

NOVOGORSK /Moscow Region/, June 9. /TASS/. The Russian Sports Ministry is still waiting for a response from the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) regarding the recently approved uniforms of the Ukrainian national football team for the 2020 UEFA Euro Cup, Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin said on Wednesday.

On June 7, UEFA’s press service announced that the Union of European Football Associations had greenlighted the Ukrainian national team kit 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.

"We are maintaining contacts and are well aware of the situation," Matytsin told journalists. "We [the Sports Ministry] held dialogues yesterday with the Russian Foreign Ministry and the Russian Football Union [RFU]".

"The RFU has requested UEFA to provide explanations," the minister said. "We have voiced our concerns in regard to the uniforms of the Ukrainian team".

The RFU announced on Tuesday that it filed an official letter with the Union of European Football Associations 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. In its letter to the UEFA, the RFU asked the organization to "focus on the use of political slogans displayed on the uniforms of the Ukrainian national team. The slogans displayed contradict the basic principles of UEFA’s regulations regarding the prohibition of all political manifestations."

On Tuesday, the world governing football body, FIFA, announced to TASS that it was up to the Union of European Football Associations to decide on national teams’ design of uniforms for the 2020 UEFA Euro Cup. "The approval of the equipment of the participating teams rests at the discretion of the relevant competition organizer, in this case, UEFA," FIFA stated.

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.