Sept. 27, FIFA imposed harsh sanction on the Lviv stadium in the wake of Ukraine-San-Marino match, saying Ukrainian fans demonstrated racist and humiliating symbols and banning the fans from the stadium till 2018.
The symbols included the black-and-red flag of the Organizations of Ukrainian Nationalists, portraits of its leaders Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevych and the banner of the SS Halychyna division.
Meanwhile, Ruslan Siromsky, a historian at the Lviv Franko national university, says the above-mentioned symbols cannot be described as racist or humiliating as they were not declared as such by the Nurnberg war crimes tribunal 67 years ago.
The issue of Bandera and Shukhevych was not even raised at the tribunal. As regards the SS Halychyna division, it is common knowledge that it was not a criminal formation, the historian says.
The Waffen group of SS divisions, to which Halychyna belonged, was not condemned by the tribunal.
There were a number of Waffen SS divisions, in Belgium, Holland, France, Latvia, Estonia, among others, and they were not condemned by the Nurnberg tribunal.
In several court cases after WWII, in which war veterans faced charges of Nazi criminals, they were acquitted based on the Nurnberg tribunal materials.
Ruslan Siromaky links the FIFA sanctions with the upcoming signing by Ukraine of the association agreement with the EU.
He agrees the issues of Nazism are very sensitive in Europe. Consequently, the opponents of Ukraine integration are trying to stall Kyiv’s accession to Europe, and the FIFA sanctions may be one of the tools used in their game.
Lviv Franko university scholars are currently busy drawing up a memorandum on the issue, Siromsky says, with the purpose of sending it to FIFA and Ukrainian officials.