NEWS

North Macedonia PM says issue of name on jerseys being addressed

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The prime minister of North Macedonia on Friday said that objections from Athens to the way his country’s name appears on the national soccer team’s jerseys are being addressed and will be resolved on the basis of the name deal signed with Athens in 2018.

“We have already raised the issue with the Federation and will resolve it on the basis of the Prespa Agreement, UEFA rules and tradition in the upcoming period, Zoran Zaev said in a written response to a request for comment from Greece’s state-run Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA-MPA) and broadcaster ERT.

The request for comment came after Athens last week lodged a complaint with UEFA – the governing body of the ongoing European soccer championship – over the name “Football Federation of Macedonia” and the FFM initials on players’ jerseys.

“All of Europe knows that our national football team represents North Macedonia at the Championship. Even if the federation is not a public entity, the national team is, as it is in all countries in the world. So it is and should be clear on all levels and to everyone that it is the national team of North Macedonia, irrelevant of the initials of the Federation on the kit. We have already raised the issue with the Federation,” the ANA-MPA quoted Zaev as saying.

“[The] Prespa agreement’s implementation is a work in progress and our goal is to gradually find solutions with our neighbors… to move us forward on the basis of cooperation and mutual respect,” he added.