The Australian Open told CNN on Thursday about the tournament’s “flag and symbol policy” after a video of Novak Djokovic’s father Srjan taking a picture at a demonstration with the Russian flag was released Wednesday. He said he had “explained and reminded” the players and their officials. He expressed his support for Russia.
In a video posted on YouTube by a prominent Vladimir Putin supporter, Srujan Djokovic can be seen posing with fans outside Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena. The man wears a ‘Z’ on his shirt and carries a Russian flag with Putin’s face on it. “Long live Russia,” he says.
The “Z” symbol is seen as a sign of support for Russia, including its invasion of Ukraine. This symbol can be found on Russian equipment and clothing in Ukraine.
CNN reached out to Novak and Srjan Djokovic for comment.
A spokesperson for the Australian Open told CNN on Thursday: “Athletes and their teams have been reminded to explain the event policy regarding flags and symbols and to avoid potentially confusing situations.” .
“We will continue to work closely with event security and law enforcement.”
A spokesperson for the Australian Open continued: “After Wednesday night’s game, a small number of people were forced to leave after displaying inappropriate flags and symbols, intimidating security guards. , assisting the police in unrelated matters.”
Ukraine’s ambassador to Australia said on Friday that the incident was a “provocation” and “throws a negative light on Novak himself as he prepares for the semi-finals”, calling the tennis star on his own about the war. I urged him to express his position.
“I think it’s important to make a very strong statement about where he stands in this war. I want Novak Djokovic to apologize,” Ukrainian Ambassador Vasyl Miroshnichenko told CNN. rice field.
“Of course the son cannot be held responsible for his father’s sins, but he may have the same opinion as his father. I think the world should know where he stands.”
Tennis Australia confirmed Wednesday that four people were ejected from the tournament for displaying pro-war images.
According to Australian Open rules, Russian and Belarusian flags are banned from the event.
Tennis Australia has a ‘flag of neutrality’ policy, which it reemphasizes amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.