The Ukrainian Football Association issued the controversial nationalist greeting “Glory to Ukraine! – Glory to the hero!” made the official slogan of Austria's group opponents (June 21) at the EM. Previously, the European Football Union UEFA had asked Ukraine to put the words “Den Helden Ruhm!” because of its military importance from their EM jerseys.
The greeting has been used by “millions of our fans in our home country and around the world” for many years, the Ukrainian association president Andrij Pawelko defended the slogan on Friday on Facebook. Likewise, the outline of Ukraine was confirmed with the country's coat of arms as the official football symbol. On Sunday (9 p.m.) Ukraine will start the group stage of the European Championship against the Netherlands in Amsterdam.
The Ukrainian Football Association presented the new clothes to the public last Sunday. Neighbor Russia immediately protested the outlines of the country, including the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, annexed by Moscow in 2014. The original slogan on the back and in the collar was also criticized.
The slogan “Glory to Ukraine!” has been used on the jerseys of the national team since 2018. “Glory of Ukraine! – Glory to the heroes!” has been the official greeting of the Ukrainian army and police for three years. Historically, it was popularized by Ukrainian nationalists from the 1930s onwards. Because of their collaboration with the German occupiers during the Second World War and because of ethnic cleansing in western Ukraine by nationalist partisans, the slogan was outlawed for a long time.