UPDATE 1-Soccer-Ukraine adopts UEFA-banned 'Glory to the heroes' as official slogan

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KYIV, June 11 (Reuters) - Ukraine's football association agreed on Friday to make the phrase "Glory to the heroes" an official slogan, even though its use on the national team's shirt has been banned by UEFA.

European soccer's governing body told Ukraine on Thursday it could keep an outline map of Ukraine that includes Russia-annexed Crimea on the shirt, although this has caused outrage in Moscow, but said it must remove the phrase "Glory to the heroes" because it has military connotations.

Andriy Pavelko, the President of the Football Association of Ukraine, flew to Rome on Thursday for emergency talks with UEFA and said the talks would continue Friday morning.

He said on Facebook that 45 Ukrainian soccer executives had on Friday morning approved "Glory to Ukraine" and "Glory to the heroes" as official national football symbols.

They also approved the image of Ukraine's map including Crimea as the football association's official coat of arms, he said.

The new kit is due to feature in the European Championship that kicks off later on Friday, with "Glory to the heroes," a military greeting in Ukraine, written inside the shirt.

Moscow has objected to the outline map because it annexed Crimea in 2014, but the peninsula remains internationally recognized as part of Ukraine.

"Football symbols of Ukraine, long recognized by all our fans and the football community in general, must be protected and immortalized in the football tradition of our country," Pavelko said.

"In all matches of our national teams! The unique national football code, which contains these attributes, unites all Ukrainians, from different regions of Ukraine and our compatriots from different countries and continents," he said.

Ukraine has said the shirt was a symbol of national unity. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy posted a selfie on Instagram this week that showed him wearing the new shirt and his office defended the slogans as "absolutely correct."

Relations between Moscow and Kyiv collapsed after the annexation of Crimea and the start of a Russian-backed separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine the same year. (Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Kim Coghill and Timothy Heritage)

06/11/2021 9:51

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