Conflicts & War

Ukraine’s ambassador to Australia calls for veto of Djokovic’s father

Sydney, Australia, Jan 27 (EFE).- The Ukrainian ambassador to Australia Vasyl Myroshnychenko, said Friday that Novak Djokovic’s father should be barred from attending the remainder of the Australian Open tennis after a video surfaced in which he appeared with fans holding Russian flags.

Speaking to Australia’s public television ABC, Myroshnychenko said the flags were a symbol of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and called for Srdjan Djokovic to be banned from the rest of the tournament, which ends Sunday with the men’s final, where Djokovic could be playing.

“It is unacceptable, it is a disgrace for the tournament. Sanctions must be imposed,” the ambassador said.

Myroshnychenko said he assumed Srdjan Djokovic supported Russia’s invasion of Ukraine after Australian media identified him in a video Thursday in which he briefly posed with Russian supporters in Melbourne, one of them wearing a pro-war T-shirt and a flag with Vladimir Putin’s face.

Djokovic’s family has not made any comment on the controversy.

The father’s alleged support led Myroshnychenko to demand that his son take a position.

“Do you support Putin? Do you support the war in Ukraine? What do you think of his father’s support?” he said.

The tennis player, who has not spoken of the matter, eliminated Russia’s Andrey Rublev in the quarterfinals Wednesday and will play Friday in the semifinals against American Tommy Paul.

Open organizers have banned the display of Russian and Belarusian flags and symbols due to incidents that occurred during the match between Ukraine’s Kateryna Baindl and Russia’s Kamilla Rakhimova on the first day. EFE


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