The head of the Ukrainian Football Federation sparked a storm of anger in Russia after he revealed the new jersey of the national team bearing a map of Ukraine including Crimea.
Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. Moscow considers the peninsula part of its territory, but it is internationally recognized as part of Ukraine.
The new Ukraine shirt was revealed on Sunday, days before the start of the European Championship, through the account of the President of the Ukrainian Football Federation Andrei Pavlenko on Facebook.
The front of the yellow shirt shows the borders of Ukraine in white, and the slogan “Glory to Ukraine” is written on the back of the shirt, and the inside of the shirt bears the slogan “Glory to the Heroes”.
Russian parliament member Dmitry Svishchev was quoted by the RIA news agency as saying the shirt design was a “political provocation”, adding that showing a map of Ukraine “that includes Russian territory is illegal.”
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on social media that the slogans on the T-shirts were nationalist, and that the slogan “Glory to Ukraine, Glory to Heroes” resembled Nazi chants.
Relations between Moscow and Kiev deteriorated after the annexation of Crimea and the start of a Russian-backed insurgency in eastern Ukraine in 2014.
Ukraine will play its first match in the European Championship 2020 against the Netherlands on June 13 in Amsterdam, and it will also face Austria and North Macedonia in Group C.
Russia plays Belgium in St. Petersburg on the 12th of this month, then will face Denmark and Finland in the second group.