Srdjan Djokovic, at the center of a controversy at the Australian Open with pro-Russian fans, announced on Friday that he was giving up going to the stadium to attend the semi-final of his son Novak, in order not to not stir up tensions.
I am only here to support my son.
I had no intention of making headlines or causing any disturbances (...).
So that there are no disturbances during the semi-final for my son or for his opponent, I chose to watch the match from home
, ”wrote Srdjan Djokovic in a press release which AFP a copy is provided.
I want it to be a great game and I'm going to cheer on my son, as always
," he concluded.
In his press release, Srdjan Djokovic explains his vision of the incident.
I was outside with the Novak fans like I did after all of my son's matches to celebrate his wins and take pictures with them.
I had no intention of being drawn into this turmoil
,” he says.
Novak Djokovic's father was filmed outside the stadium on Thursday with a man holding a Russian flag with President Vladimir Putin's face on it, according to a video posted on a pro-Russian Australian YouTube account.
This video provoked a strong reaction from the Ukrainian ambassador to Australia who demanded that Srdjan Djokovic be withdrawn from his accreditation for the tournament.
He also demanded an "
" from the player himself, yet involved neither near nor far.
Throughout the tournament, we have spoken with the players and their teams about the importance of not engaging in activities that could cause disruption
,” said the Australian Federation (TA), taking note of the release of "
Srdjan Djokovic in which he confirms that he will not attend the semi-final this evening
We reiterate the ban on the flags of Belarus and Russia
," the TA statement added.
Initially allowed inside Melbourne Park, where the Australian Open is played, the Russian and Belarusian flags were banned at the request of the Ukrainian Embassy in Canberra, after some had been deployed in the stands .