The video emerged as police eliminated 4 folks from the Australian Open match for displaying Russian flags.
Novak Djokovic’s father has been filmed posing with followers brandishing pro-Russian flags on the Australian Open in scenes Ukraine’s ambassador slammed as “a shame”.
The diplomat’s touch upon Thursday got here a day after the Serbian participant had simply booked his place within the match semifinal with a straight-set thumping of Russian opponent Andrey Rublev in Rod Laver Enviornment.
After the match a bunch of followers unfurled Russian flags close to the stadium, together with one that includes President Vladimir Putin’s face, chanting pro-Russian slogans.
A Victoria police spokeswoman stated the 4 folks had been kicked out of the match for revealing “inappropriate flags and symbols and threatened safety guards”. Police had been referred to as they usually had been ejected from Melbourne Park.
“Gamers and their groups have been briefed and reminded of the occasion coverage concerning flags and symbols and to keep away from any scenario that has the potential to disrupt,” Tennis Australia stated in a press release. “We proceed to work carefully with occasion safety and regulation enforcement companies.”
On January 17, the second day of the Australian Open, flags from Russia and Belarus had been banned from Melbourne Park after they had been introduced into the stands by spectators the day earlier than. Usually, flags will be displayed throughout matches at Melbourne Park. However Tennis Australia reversed that coverage for the 2 international locations concerned within the invasion of Ukraine that started practically a yr in the past, saying the flags had been inflicting disruption.
A video later posted to a pro-Russian Australian YouTube account confirmed Djokovic’s father Srdjan posing with a person holding a flag with Putin’s image.
It was captioned: “Novak Djokovic’s father makes daring political assertion.”
That is…fairly a multitude for the #AusOpen, to say the least.
Srdjan Djokovic posing with the pro-Putin rally final night time simply exterior Rod Laver Enviornment.
The degrees of safety breakdowns that allowed for this are staggering.
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 26, 2023
Serbian tennis reporters confirmed it was Djokovic’s father and the Melbourne Age newspaper reported he stated in Serbian: “Lengthy dwell Russia.”
Ukraine’s ambassador to Australia and New Zealand, Vasyl Myroshnychenko, stated the flag-waving was “shameful”.
“It’s a full bundle. Among the many Serbian flags, there’s: a Russian flag, Putin, Z-symbol, so-called Donetsk Individuals’s Republic flag,” he tweeted with a hyperlink to the video.
It’s a full bundle. Among the many Serbian flags, there’s: a Russian flag, Putin, Z-symbol, so-called Donetsk Individuals’s Republic flag. It’s such a shame…@TennisAustralia @AustralianOpen https://t.co/wZoZontcEj
— Vasyl Myroshnychenko (@AmbVasyl) January 25, 2023
One other man was photographed by AFP information company contained in the stadium throughout Djokovic’s match with a pro-war “Z” image T-shirt – related to assist for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Russian and Belarusian gamers have usually competed beneath a impartial white flag as independents, as is the case on the Australian Open.