The Ukrainian ambassador to Australia urged the organizers of the australian open to veto the father of Novak Djokovic of the tournament, after he was filmed posing with fans with pro-Russian flags.
“The accreditation should be withdrawn. It is up to Novak and his team to address this and resolve it.”, he declared to the AFP The Embassador Vasyl Myroshnychenko.
The diplomat also asked Djokovicwho is preparing to face the American tommy paul in the semifinals of the tournament, apologize personally and clarify their position on the russian invasion.
“It is important that Novak address this situation,” he said. “He must apologize for what happened and condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine”.
The father of Novak Djokovic announced this Friday in a statement that will not attend his son’s semifinal at the Australian Open after the controversy caused by his images with fans who wore pro-Russian symbols.
“I am here only to support my son. I didn’t mean to cause those headlines or such a disturbance. (…) In order not to disturb my son or the other player in tonight’s semifinal, I have decided to watch it from home,” he said. Srdjan Djokovic it’s a statement.
A video uploaded to a pro-Russian Australian YouTube account on Thursday showed the father of Djokovic, srdjanposing with a man wearing a Russian flag with the face of Vladimir Putin and a T-shirt with the letter Z, a symbol of support for the invasion of Ukraine.
The video carried the caption: “Novak Djokovic’s father makes courageous political pronouncement”.
Serbian journalists confirmed that it is Djokovic’s father.
Another man was photographed by AFP inside the stadium during the match between Djokovic and the russian Andrei Rublev wearing a T-shirt with the letter Z.
Those facts upset the Ukrainian tennis player Martha Kostyukwho this friday played a doubles match at the Australian Open.
“It hurts a lot because there were specific rules, it is printed outside that you are not allowed to bring these flags”, Kostyuk declared at a press conference after his defeat in the women’s doubles semifinal.
at the beginning of grand slams, tennis australiawhich organizes the tournament, banned the entry of flags and symbols of Russia and Belarus to Melbourne Parkafter the appearance of Russian flags during a match by a Ukrainian player.
The Russian embassy in Australia called this ban a “new example of unacceptable politicization of sport”.
To Myroshnychenkowho had claimed tennis australia the ban on these symbols, the new controversy may eclip Djokovic’s performances during the tournament, to which he returns after being deported from the country a year ago for not being vaccinated against covid.
“During the last Open, we only talked about Djokovic,” declared the Ukrainian diplomat. “Now we only talk about Russian flags and Djokovic too.”
“Absolutely disgusting (…) These people have nothing to do in tennis tournaments, including Djokovic’s father, if openly praise a genocidal regime”, tweeted the former Ukrainian tennis player Alex Dolgopolov, currently fighting in your country.
Tennis Australia said on Thursday it would continue to work with security to enforce the entry rules, saying it had reminded the players and their teams of these rules, without directly citing the incident with Djokovic’s father.
“The players and their teams have been informed and have been reminded of the event policy in relation to flags and symbols and to avoid any situation that has the possibility of being disruptive,” he said.
Following the invasion of Ukraine that began in February 2022, Russian and Belarusian players regularly participate in tennis competitions under a neutral flag.
This is the case in the australian openwhere a Russian player (Karen Khachanov) and two Belarusians (Victoria Azarenka and Aryna Sabalenka) reached the semifinals of the individual draw.
(With information from AFP)
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