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UKRAINE has been forced to take off a controversial slogan off their Euro 2020 kit but have been told by Uefa they can keep the map of Crimea on it.
The yellow-and-blue shirt design, which could be on display against the Netherlands on Sunday, outraged Russian officials by including an outline of Ukraine’s land territory with the Crimea region which Russia annexed following a referendum in 2014.
The new Uefa ruling allows the map to stay on the shirt, in line with international law which holds the Russian annexation illegal.
However, one of the two slogans woven into the inside of the shirt collar — “Glory to the heroes” — must be removed. “Glory to Ukraine” can remain visible on the back of the shirt’s neck.
The two slogans wereused by the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists, led by Stepan Bandera, which fought alongside the Nazis against the Soviet Union in World War II and participated in the Holocaust, murdering hundreds of thousands of Jews and Poles.
Uefa said it approved “Glory to the heroes” last December, separately from the other slogan which was allowed two years earlier.
“Following further analysis, this specific combination of the two slogans is deemed to be clearly political in nature, having historic and militaristic significance,” Uefa said.
Euro 2020 kicks off on Friday, although Ukraine and Russia cannot play each other unless both advance deep into the 24-nation tournament.
A Uefa rule in place since 2014 separates the countries’ national teams and club teams to prevent them from being drawn together.
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