Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)
Crimea in Ukraine? Map on football kit triggers major spat
MOSCOW: The Ukrainian football association has caused outrage in Russia by unveiling a new national team shirt emblazoned with a map of Ukraine that includes Crimea, in a move Russian officials called a provocation.
Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. Moscow considers the peninsula part of Russia but it is internationally recognised as part of Ukraine.
Ukraine’s kit was unveiled on Sunday, days before the European Championship kicks off, on the Facebook page of the head of the Football Association of Ukraine, Andriy Pavelko.
The front of the yellow jersey shows the borders of Ukraine in white. A slogan at the top of the back reads “Glory to Ukraine!”. Inside the shirt is a slogan that declares “Glory to the heroes!”
Dmitry Svishchev, a Russian parliamentarian, was quoted by news agency RIA as saying the design was “a political provocation”. The US embassy in Kiev said it liked the new kit. “Love the new look. Glory to Ukraine! #Crimeaisukraine,” it wrote on Twitter.
“I really like our team’s new uniform,” Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote on Twitter. “I can tell those who are fussing because they can’t stand our internationally recognised borders or our official state greeting: We will not allow our national symbols to be insulted!”