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Ukrainian Association of Football votes to give official status to nationalistic slogans

The Ukrainian national team’s uniforms for the upcoming championship featured slogans chanted by Ukrainian nationalists

KIEV, June 11. /TASS/. The Executive Committee of the Ukrainian Association of Football (UAF) has granted official status to nationalistic slogans ‘Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the heroes!’, UAF President Andrei Pavelko announced on his Facebook account on Friday.

On June 10, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) obliged the Ukrainian national team to remove a politically inciteful slogan from its uniforms ahead of the 2020 Euro Cup.

"The UAF Executive Committee has just now unanimously voted — all 45 members — in favor of my proposal and confirmed the national football symbols of Ukraine," Pavelko stated, adding that slogans ‘Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the heroes!’ were granted the official status.

The Ukrainian national team’s uniforms for the upcoming championship featured slogans chanted by Ukrainian nationalists namely: ‘Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the heroes!’ The uniforms also contained a blurred image outlining Ukraine’s state borders, which include the territories in Donbass and also the territory of Russia’s Crimea.

The UAF Executive Committee also voted on Friday that the football association has the right now to use during matches of the national team a big emblem of Ukraine with the map, which includes Crimea.

"From now on, will be using a big emblem, which is a map of Ukraine with the trident [the Ukrainian coat of arms] in the center, along with the use of the small emblem of the UAF displaying a trident and inscription ‘Ukraine’ at all official events of the UAF, events with the participation of UAF delegates on the international arena and at all matches of the country’s national team," according to Pavelko.

On Friday, UAF President Pavelko immediately set off to Rome, where he plans to hold negotiations with UEFA. Ukrainian media website Strana announced earlier in the day the UAF hoped that uniforms of the national football team would not have to be changed. Pavelko stated that Ukraine was following all regulations of UEFA.

UEFA said in its statement on Thursday that following a thorough analysis, "this specific combination of the two slogans is deemed to be clearly political in nature, having historic and militaristic significance."

"This specific slogan on the inside of the shirt must therefore be removed for use in UEFA competition matches, in accordance with article 5 of the UEFA Equipment Regulations," according to the statement.

However, the European governing body ruled to maintain its position regarding "the design element on the front of the Ukraine national team shirt."

The Russian Football Union (RFU) announced on Tuesday that it had filed an official letter with the Union of European Football Associations requesting the European football body study the 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.

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.