Last Friday, in my regular afternoon, the issue of Novak Djokovic and his participation in the Australian Open, one of the four most important Grand Slam competitions in the world, came up for discussion.
The final decision on this has not yet been made at the close of the issue, but the affair proved, once again, that Djokovic is a borderline type in the tennis world, dominated in recent years by the conservative, engineered line of Swiss Roger Federer and Spaniard Rafael Nadal.
There is a situation where the Serbian nationality he comes from, which throughout history represents nationalism, even nationalism and separatism, has made the best tennis player in the world today and the biggest earner in the industry's history (about $ 140 million, not including advertising revenue), attractive.
Along with many fans, there is also a lot of resentment towards him, not to mention hatred.
Nola, 34, was born in Belgrade but has lived for many years in Monte Carlo, which allows for a very liberal lifestyle when it comes to paying huge income taxes.
Along with a lifestyle that encourages a vegan diet, the man is also a vaccine refuser and denies science.
The storm, which has been raging for more than a week and concerns the question of his participation in the Australian Championships, has long gone beyond sports and has slipped into politics, money, power, and especially the ability to bend the hands of powerful countries, even powers, like Australia.
Djokovic admitted that he fell ill in Corona on December 16, although he presented a certificate from the 22nd of the month stating that he was negative for Corona.
His irresponsible conduct was revealed as early as June 2020, when during a showcase tournament he hosted in Belgrade, there was a party where he caught up with two of his tennis teammates, Gregor Dimitrov and Borna Choric.
The British Andy Murray then criticized his conduct and demanded that he act responsibly and serve as a model for the world.
In Parliament on Friday, two of my friends, Uri and Hanan, intervened with me over a meal that Djokovic would be punished for his refusal and expelled from Australia.
A week ago all the signs showed that I would order them for dinner.
The world was at the forefront in front of the tennis player, and the hosts also promised that they would not give up growing up.
But despite the low chance of intervention, I thought the Australian Championship would not really be able to get off the ground without it.
Serbia has about ten million inhabitants. One percent of them, about 100,000, live today in Australia, most of them in Melbourne, the city hosting the championship. They arrived there following three major waves of immigration in the 20th century. Djokovic himself was 5 years old when Belgrade was bombed by the US in response to the Serbs' conduct in the Balkan war. He is considered a national hero in his homeland, his family still lives there - and in fact he is the most influential Serb in the world. The Australian government's decision to prevent him from participating in the championship.As for Belgrade, harming Djokovic could jeopardize relations between the two countries.
As for the haunted Djokovic and his fanatical associates, the idol has been humiliated in Australia from the moment he lands there. He was questioned at the airport for seven hours, and although he presented a certificate from the Australian Tennis Association medical committee, he was transferred to solitary confinement in a poor hotel, without being allowed to respond in an orderly manner. The Australians sought his expulsion, but his lawyers petitioned the court, and referee Anthony Kelly reversed the decision and ordered that he be allowed to participate in the championship.
Still, in the rich world where money speaks, it is likely that the Australian Championship would not be able to pass its days without the man who today attracts the most attention of the industry, even after so many years. The media and social networks are addicted to news storms and action, and everyone knows that the Djokovic affair is ultimately the wet dream of the championship organizers in Melbourne, and even of the Australian government. The tennis brand could not have demanded a more groundbreaking event to grab global attention, and Djokovic cooked up this drama to the end, and by and large. The ratings of the Australian Championship are expected to break past records.
From the moment Djokovic was released from isolation to go out for his first practice ahead of the championship, it seems that the focus of interest is now shifting to the arena itself.
Everyone will want to see if and how the "event" will affect Djokovic's ability to rise to the competition and win his 21st Grand Slam, thus bypassing his fellow rivals Federer Vandal, who now hold 20 such titles each.
This is a week in which vaccine opponents have won the first set;
I wonder if there will be someone who will stop their prominent representative in the decisive campaign.
In a sharp transition from the white sport of the rich and fertile world to the African Football Championship, which opened this week in Cameroon.
The big story is of course the condescending, colonialist attitude of Western football, based in the powerful leagues of England, France, Spain and Italy - towards its subjects, the football stars of African descent, but whose talent turned their lives almost overnight, and thanks to it they are strong, influential and mostly rich people is very.
Muhammad Salah, the star of the Egyptian national team and Liverpool, is an idol in his homeland, as Djokovic is revered in Serbia.
In the last Egyptian presidential election, although he was not a candidate, almost a million Egyptians wrote his name on the ballot, second only to President al-Sisi.
During his visits to Egypt, Salah makes sure to get to his home in the village, and he transfers money to the weak communities in his area of residence, including assistance in setting up a hospital.
A million votes in the election.
Muhammad Salah at the African Championships, this week, Photo: Reuters
Liverpool are in second place in the Premier League, significantly behind Manchester City, and the African Championship could finally eliminate its ambitions for the championship.
In addition to Salah, the team released Nabi Keita from Guinea for the African Championship (who also donated half a million euros to build a hospital in his country) and the Senegalese Sadio Mana, who scored a goal in the 97th minute of his side's opening game against Zimbabwe.
But Europeans treat these stars as nationals only.
Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp would not have dared to deny the importance of the Euro, but dismissed the African Championship, calling it an "unimportant tournament".
Journalists across Europe also insulted quite a few players when in the days before the championship they were asked if they were eager to leave their teams to represent their country at the championship in Cameroon.
Africa was and remains the neglected continent: sport was supposed to connect it to the modern world, but it too prefers to leave it behind.
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