UEFA wants to keep Russian flags out of stadium for Ukraine's opening game at Euro 2024

uefa wants to keep russian flags out of stadium for ukraine's opening game at euro 2024

England's Jude Bellingham (10) celebrates his goal with Trent Alexander-Arnold during the first half in a Group C match between Serbia and England at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Monday, June 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

MUNICH, Germany (AP) — UEFA wants to keep Russian flags out of the stadium when Ukraine plays its first European Championship game Monday after some were displayed in the stands at other matches.

UEFA said security staff will try to intercept and remove Russian flags from being displayed at the Munich stadium where Ukraine plays Romania on Monday afternoon in the Euro 2024 group stage.

Russian teams were banned by UEFA from international competitions within days of the full military invasion of Ukraine starting in February 2022.

Still, Russian citizens could try to buy tickets for Euro 2024 games. The national flag of white, red and blue horizontal bands has been displayed at some of the first group-stage matches, including in Munich last Friday next to Scotland flags at the opening game against Germany.

uefa wants to keep russian flags out of stadium for ukraine's opening game at euro 2024

England's Jude Bellingham celebrates after scoring during the first half in a Group C match between Serbia and England at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Monday, June 17, 2024. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

Several Russian flags also were seen among Serbia fans during their team's game against England on Sunday in Gelsenkirchen. Serbia is one of Russia’s strongest traditional allies in Europe.

Many images of Jude Bellingham celebrating scoring the only goal of the game for England had Russian flags that could be clearly seen behind him in the Serbian end of the stadium.

German authorities previously said they only wanted to allow flags of the participating teams to be brought to stadiums and official fan zones broadcasting games on big screens in the 10 host cities. That was seen also as a protective measure to avoid likely provocations if Israeli and Palestinian flags were displayed.

UEFA also has disciplinary rules against political messages at stadiums and can punish teams if such are displayed by their fans.

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AP Euro 2024: https://apnews.com/hub/euro-2024

The Associated Press

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