The board said “Glory to our heroes” was “clearly political in nature” after a complaint from Russia.
UEFA, the governing body of European football, has ordered Ukraine to remove a “political” slogan from its national football equipment for the upcoming Euro 2020 tournament.
The ‘Glory to our heroes’ message inside the shirt collar was “clearly political in nature,” UEFA said on Wednesday.
The slogan was widely used as a rallying cry during a 2014 popular uprising in Ukraine that toppled Kremlin-backed leader Viktor Yanukovych.
UEFA’s move came after Russia on Tuesday sent a letter of complaint to the governing body over the yellow jersey, which also presents an overview of the country’s borders including Russia annexed Crimea and areas controlled by the separatists from Donetsk and Luhansk.
UEFA said the map was not a concern as a UN General Assembly resolution “recognizes territorial boundaries as they are largely represented by design.”
He also ruled that a phrase on the outside of the shirt – “Glory to Ukraine” – was acceptable because on its own it could be considered a “generic and non-political expression of general national importance”.
This chant was also used by protesters who rallied against Yanukovych during the so-called Maidan Revolution seven years ago.
However, the governing body said the “specific combination” of the two slogans on the jersey was “clearly political in nature” and had historical and militaristic significance.
He said the ‘Glory to our Heroes’ slogan on the inside of the jersey should therefore be deleted.
“Russia: sport is not a battlefield”
Russia immediately welcomed UEFA’s move, with Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova saying sport should not be mixed with politics.
“Sport is not a battlefield, but a place of competition; it is not a political arena but a sports arena. Become sports heroes and you will have your glory, ”she said.
“Do it that way and not with nationalist slogans. “
Ukraine had said the shirt was a symbol of national unity, and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy posted a selfie on Instagram with the kit this week.
Tensions have persisted since Russia annexed Crimea and the start of a Russian-backed separatist rebellion in eastern Ukraine in 2014.
Ukraine will play their first Euro 2020 game against the Netherlands on June 13 in Amsterdam and will also face Austria and North Macedonia in Group C.
Russia will face Belgium, the highest-ranked team in the world, in their home opener in St. Petersburg on June 12, before facing Denmark and Finland.