Novak Djokovic’s father poses for a photo with Putin supporters at the Australian Open
Australian Open organizers have reminded players and their entourage of their “inappropriate flags” policy after video surfaced showing Novak Djokovic’s father posing for photos with fans holding Russian flags.
Our fans with “inappropriate flags and symbols” were quizzed by Victoria Police after Wednesday’s quarter-final between Djokovic and Russia’s Andrey Rublev.
A video, also posted to social media, showed a supporter on the steps of Rod Laver Arena holding up a Russian flag bearing the image of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Late Wednesday, another video showed Djokovic’s father Srdjan posing for photos with fans holding Russian flags.
“Players and their teams have been briefed on the event’s policy regarding flags and symbols and have been reminded to avoid any situation that could lead to disruption,” Tennis Australia said in a statement yesterday.
“We continue to work closely with event security and law enforcement agencies.”
Russian and Belarusian flags are banned during the tournament at Melbourne Park, following a complaint from Ukraine’s ambassador to the country.
Belarus is a key theater for Russia’s war in Ukraine, which Moscow calls a “special operation.”
Photos on social media also showed a fan in the crowd with a “Z” on his jersey during Wednesday’s game.
Russian forces used the letter “Z” as an identifying mark on their vehicles after the invasion of Ukraine. Some supporters of the invasion have also used the mark.
Russian and Belarusian tennis players were banned from Wimbledon last year but can compete as individual athletes with no national affiliation at Melbourne Park.
Their flags are not shown next to their names on television broadcasts like other players are, and their nation is not indicated on draw sheets.
https://www.independent.ie/world-news/australasia/novak-djokovics-father-poses-for-pic-with-pro-putin-supporters-at-australian-open-42315092.html Novak Djokovic’s father poses for a photo with Putin supporters at the Australian Open