Just hours before kickoff at the opening match of the European soccer championship, Greek Sports Minister Lefteris Avgenakis sent a letter of complaint to the president of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Aleksander Ceferin over the name being used by North Macedonia in its first-ever appearance in the event.
Avgenakis expressed Athens’ objection to the FFM (for Football Federation of Macedonia) badge on the national team’s jersey, saying that while the name deal signed with Greece in 2018 does not clearly set down rules for the use of abbreviations, the customary practice is to use abbreviations of a country’s internationally recognized name, in this case Republic of North Macedonia.
The Greek official said that the country could display its name as NM or RNM, but not FFM, which does not contain the designation agreed under the 2018 Prespes accord.
He also asked for UEFA to look into the name of the country’s soccer association, Football Federation of Macedonia, saying that it contravenes the name deal.
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias has also sent a similar letter to his counterpart in North Macedonia.