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17 Jul, 2021 09:51

Football bosses in Ukraine ‘pass law making it mandatory’ for clubs to wear badge containing hugely controversial national slogans

Football bosses in Ukraine ‘pass law making it mandatory’ for clubs to wear badge containing hugely controversial national slogans

The Ukrainian Premier League has reportedly ruled that all clubs have to wear a badge with the slogans "Glory to Ukraine" and "Glory to the Heroes" on their kits, prompting a Jewish leader to point out its links to World War II.

The slogans became infamous shortly before Euro 2020, when the Ukraine national team was ordered not to wear a newly-designed kit containing the words, which are viewed as highly inflammatory by some, woven into their shirts.

Among a number of outraged voices, one Russian State Duma described the move as a "provocation", with the shirts also containing a map of the Crimean Peninsula, which was made part of Russia following a referendum held on the territory and the signing of the accession treaty in 2014 in the midst of the Ukrainian revolution.

Clubs in the country's top flight will have to make a badge featuring the slogans visible on their kits for the 2021/22 season, according to Ukrainian football source Zorya Londonsk.

Echoing the news, Eduard Dolinsky, the Director General of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, said: "The slogan was invented and used by World War II Ukrainian nationalists who heavily participated in the Holocaust and organized the mass murders of Poles."

Euro 2020 organizers UEFA originally appeared to confirm they had allowed the kit to be used by the national team during the showpiece, then swiftly outlawed its use amid an escalating political row during the week before the tournament.

Ukraine boss Andriy Shevchenko and his team, who were knocked out in the quarterfinals by England, promoted the kit, which the Kremlin diplomatically stated would not lead to tensions.

Dmitry Svishchev, a Duma state deputy, branded the design an "absurdity" and  a "strange act"“Crimea has been an integral territory of Russia for seven years," he explained to RT.

"I am sure that UEFA should react strongly to what has happened. The Ukrainian national team still has time to [create] a new uniform in order to go to the European Championships not to work out political slogans, but to fight for the honor of their country in their favorite sport."

While some readers on social media debated the origins of the slogan and suggested that Ukrainian national identity needs "powerful messages", the majority seemed unconvinced by the need for the reported ruling.

"Figures," said one. "If UEFA won't allow it in Europe, which we obviously are, then we'll simply mandate it in Ukraine, because it's Europe."

Another rued: "Unbelievable. They should be barred from international football federations for something like that."

The new Ukrainian Premier League season begins on Friday.

Also on rt.com ‘The slogan on the kit was a provocation’: Russian fan supports Ukraine at Euro 2020 in St. Petersburg (VIDEO)