EURO2020 Media/Press Reporting Guidelines re: Macedonian Football/Soccer Team

The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD), the leading voice of Macedonians abroad, has released the following media and press reporting guidelines for the EURO2020 on the Macedonian National Football/Soccer Team.


The Washington Post has referred to Macedonia’s debut as “The Cinderella story of this European Championship.”


Football/Soccer is the number 1 sport in Macedonia. Interest in the sport is expected to increase as a result of Macedonia’s first major tournament participation. 


The first recorded football/soccer game in Macedonia was in April 1909.

The Football Federation of Macedonia (FFM) is independent and privately owned, which receives no public funds from the state. FFM in the Macedonian language is spelled ФФМ, which is the logo found on the player jerseys.

This year, FFM marks its 25th anniversary as a member of FIFA and UEFA.

Team Captain: Goran Pandev, who made his debut 20 years ago, is the biggest star in Macedonian football/soccer history.

Youngest Player: Darko Churlinov, at age 20.

Midfielder: Eljif Elmas, born in Macedonia of Turkish heritage, earned him the nickname of “the Macedonian Diamond,” because of his name in Turkish means “Diamond.” He grew up in one of the poorest parts of Skopje working for his father’s sweet shop.

To learn more about the players, click HERE.

FUN FACT: Romania, where several EURO2020 matches are taking place, including the first match Macedonia vs. Austria, is home to a large Macedonian community. Romania is one of the few EU member-states that recognizes a Macedonian minority and provides full cultural-linguistic human rights. Macedonians have their own member in Romania’s Parliament by the name of Ionel Stancu.

Macedonian 101 Basics:

Nationality: Macedonian

Language: Macedonian

Official Country Codes: MK, MKD

National Anthem: Today Over Macedonia (in Macedonian: Денес Над Македонија)

Macedonian is the correct description for the people’s ethnicity, cultural identity, language, heritage.

“North Macedonian” is inaccurate, incorrect, and highly offensive to Macedonians. While the name of the country was illegally changed to appease Greece, the adjective remained the same.  

Macedonians object to the use of “North Macedonia” to refer to their homeland and prefer “Macedonia.”

The Macedonian Official Flag adopted in 1995:

Original Macedonian Official Flag, which Macedonia had to remove as its flag in order to end a three-year economic embargo by its neighbor Greece. You’ll see this flag at every single sports game or cultural festivity attended by Macedonians, as it is also the ethnic flag of Macedonians:

Tose Proeski’s “Makedonija Naviva za Vas” or “Macedonia is Cheering For You” is one of the most popular motivational songs during sports games to get the crowd rallied up in support of the Macedonian sports teams.

One of the most popular Macedonian songs is Biser Balkanski, or Pearl of the Balkans, by the late singer Goce Nikolovski, which refers to Macedonia as the pearl of the Balkans. Upon hearing the song, Macedonians are quick to head to the dance floor and join the “oro” or circle dance. It’s been played many times in the locker rooms after the Macedonian National Football/Soccer Team’s victories.

UMD wishes the Macedonian National Football/Soccer Team a huge success during EURO2020!

They, the players, our pride and joy, have united the Macedonian people like never before! For that, we owe them a great debt of gratitude!

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