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Australia, storm over Djokovic's father, will not attend the semifinal

2023-01-27T07:03:46.604Z


Protest by Ukrainian ambassador after man was filmed next to fans with pro-Russian flags (ANSA) It's a storm over Novak Djokovic's father, who has decided not to attend the semifinal of the Australian Open in which his son will be involved, after being filmed with some fans waving pro-Russian flags during the tournament: scenes defined as "shameful" by the Ambassador of Ukraine in Canberra. After Djokovic's quarterfinal match against Russia's Andrey Rublev, a group of fans waved Russian flag


It's a storm over Novak Djokovic's father, who has decided not to attend the semifinal of the Australian Open in which his son will be involved, after being filmed with some fans waving pro-Russian flags during the tournament: scenes defined as "shameful" by the Ambassador of Ukraine in Canberra.

After Djokovic's quarterfinal match against Russia's Andrey Rublev, a group of fans waved Russian flags, including one with the face of President Vladimir Putin, near Melbourne's Rod Laver Arena as they chanted pro-Russian slogans.

The father of the Serbian champion announced it a few hours before the start of the match.

"My family has experienced the horror of war and we only wish for peace," Srdjan Djokovic said, adding: "I had no intention of causing such headlines or turmoil. I will watch the game from home."

The Australian Tennis Federation said four people "displayed inappropriate flags and symbols and threatened security guards" at Melbourne Park, before being removed by police.

A video later posted on an Australian pro-Russian YouTube channel shows Srdjan Djokovic, the father of the Serbian player, posing with the man waving the flag with Putin's face.

All with the caption: "Novak Djokovic's father makes bold political statement."

Serbian sports journalists confirmed that it was indeed Djokovic's father.

Spectators are prohibited from displaying Russian or Belarusian flags during the tournament.

The Ukrainian ambassador to Australia and New Zealand, Vasyl Myroshnychenko, had called for action to be taken after several of these flags were seen in crowds last week.

"It's a complete catalog. Among the Serbian flags are: a Russian flag, Putin, the Z symbol, the so-called flag of the Donetsk People's Republic," he tweeted with a link to the video.

"It's really shameful," he complained to the Australian Federation and the organizers of the Open. 

It is "very shocking, I am disturbed" by what happened, commented the Ukrainian tennis player Marta Kostyuk immediately after the defeat during the semifinals of the women's doubles at the Australian Open which are taking place in Melbourne.

"It doesn't matter who you are, nobody has the right to wave those flags. Things like this can't stay in the shadows," she added.

Source: ansa

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