Ukraine to remove 'political' slogan from kit: UEFA

European soccer’s governing body told Ukraine it could keep a map of Crimea on its new national shirt on Thursday (June 10) despite objections from Russia.

But said it must remove the phrase "Glory to the heroes" because of its military connotations.

Ukraine's kit, which will feature in the European Championship, has stirred rivalries with Moscow.

It includes an outline map showing the peninsula of Crimea which Russia annexed in 2014 but remains internationally recognized as part of Ukraine.

A slogan on the back of the shirt reads "Glory to Ukraine."

While inside the shirt, along the back collar are the words: "Glory to the heroes" - a military greeting in Ukraine.

UEFA said the map was not a concern as it reflected U.N.-recognized borders, nor was the phrase "Glory to Ukraine".

But it ordered the removal of the second phrase, given that quote the "specific combination of the two slogans is deemed to be clearly political in nature, having historic and militaristic significance".

Ukraine had said the shirt was a symbol of national unity, and President Volodymyr Zelenskiy posted a selfie on Instagram wearing the jersey this week.

Commenting on the kit controversy, Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on Thursday that sport should not be mixed with politics.

Relations between Moscow and Kyiv deteriorated sharply after the annexation of Crimea and the start of a Russian-backed separatist rebellion in eastern Ukraine in 2014.

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