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HomeNewsThe Australian Open Bans Russian and Belarusian Flags

The Australian Open Bans Russian and Belarusian Flags


Belarusian and Russian flags have been banned from the Australian Open, the governing physique for tennis in Australia stated on Tuesday, after followers displayed a Russian flag at a first-round match between a Russian and Ukrainian participant a day earlier.

Tennis — together with sports activities equivalent to determine skating, and monitor and discipline — has struggled with its response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which Belarus has supported. In June, Wimbledon turned the one one of many 4 main tennis tournaments to ban Russian and Belarusian gamers. The lads’s and ladies’s tennis excursions responded by stopping gamers from gathering factors from the match that rely towards total rankings.

“Our preliminary coverage was that followers might deliver them in however couldn’t use them to trigger disruption,” Tennis Australia, the governing physique, stated in a press release, referring to the flags. “Yesterday we had an incident the place a flag was positioned courtside.”

Consistent with the Australian authorities’s coverage on Russian and Belarusian athletes, the Australian Open has allowed gamers from these international locations to compete. However they aren’t allowed to take action as representatives for his or her nation, and the flags by their names on screens across the match have been eliminated or changed by white containers.

Different international locations’ flags and symbols had been a typical sight on the primary day of the match. Followers struggled by excessive warmth, carrying shirts emblazoned with the red-and-white Croatian checkerboard to cheer on Borna Coric towards the Czech participant Jiri Lehecka or holding aloft South African and Italian flags as Lloyd Harris of South Africa confronted off towards Lorenzo Musetti of Italy.

On the match between Kamilla Rakhimova of Russia and Kateryna Baindl of Ukraine, the place a Russian flag was prominently displayed, Ukrainian followers known as the police and the safety employees to the court docket, saying that Russian supporters had been appearing in a menacing method.

In a put up on Twitter within the hours after the match, Vasyl Myroshnychenko, the Ukrainian ambassador to Australia and New Zealand, condemned the show on the match, which the Ukrainian participant received. “I name on Tennis Australia to right away implement its ‘impartial flag’ coverage,” he wrote.

Jacinta Allen, a prime official for the state of Victoria, the place the match is held, praised the ban on the flags. “It sends a really, very clear message that human rights is essential,” she stated at a information convention on Tuesday.



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