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Australian Open: Russian and Belarusian flags banned


In the war that has pitted Russia against Ukraine for several months, the Australian Open has made its arrangements.

The Australian Tennis Federation on Tuesday banned Russian and Belarusian flags from the Australian Open, following a request from the Ukrainian ambassador for action after they were seen in the crowd.


Russian and Belarusian flags are banned on site at the Australian Open

," the Australian Federation said in a statement, adding that the ban took "


" effect.


Our initial policy was that fans could bring them but could not use them to cause disruption

," Tennis Australia added.

To discover

  • Australian Open: ladies schedule and results

  • Australian Open: men's schedule and results

The Russian tricolor was seen on Monday on the first day of the Australian Open, in the first round match between Ukrainian Kateryna Baindl and Russian player Kamilla Rakhimova.

In the stands, Ukrainian supporters then called on the security services and the police to react.

A Russian flag was also seen on Rod Laver Arena during the match between Daniil Medvedev and American Marcos Giron.

Ukraine's ambassador to Australia and New Zealand had called on the Australian FA to take action

Read alsoThe quiet entry of Garcia, the disappointment of Cornet, the dry elimination of Thiem… What to remember from the night in Melbourne

Ukraine's ambassador to Australia and New Zealand, Vasyl Myroshnychenko, called on the Australian federation on Monday to take action.


I strongly condemn the public display of Russian flags during Ukrainian tennis player Kateryna Baindl's match at the Australian Open

," he tweeted, adding that he called on the Australian Federation to enforce the "

neutral flag

" policy.

Mr Myroshnychenko last week urged the Australian Open to ban Russian and Belarusian players altogether - Belarus supporting Vladimir Putin's war - as Wimbledon did last year.


You could have banned Russian players and positioned yourself by responding seriously to these predictable incidents, but you chose cowardice

", lamented on Twitter the former Australian ambassador to Ukraine, Doug Trappett, in post in 2015 and 2016.

I have no control over it.

What can I say?

They did, OK, no flags


World number five Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka

World number five Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka said she had no objections to Tennis Australia banning flags "

if everyone feels better that way

", but said the sport was not not "



I have no control over it.

What can I say?

They did, OK, no flags

,” added Sabalenka, who was among the players banned from Wimbledon last year.

Asked if she could understand that some Ukrainian fans might be upset by the sight of Russian or Belarusian flags, she replied: "

I'm pretty sure they (are) hurt by this, and if Tennis Australia made this decision to make them feel better, okay


Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine nearly a year ago, Russian and Belarusian players have competed under neutral banners at competitions, including the Australian Open.

Source: lefigaro

All sports articles on 2023-01-17

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