Things took a turn at the Australian Open when a bunch of people showed up at the Australian Open with inappropriate flags and symbols.
At Melbourne Park, four supporters were seen waving Russian flags with Russia’s president Vladimir Putin’s image on them following the quarter-final match between Novak Djokovic and Audrey Rublev at the Rod Laver Arena.
A video emerged on social media where the supporter was seen holding the Russian flag with President Putin’s image on it on the steps of Rod Laver Arena. The troublemakers involved with the promotion of these actions are currently being questioned by the Victoria Police.
Just took a walk around Melbourne Park after filing and a group of people were standing on the Rod Laver Arena steps, holding up a flag with Vladimir Putin’s face and chanting in support of Russia. pic.twitter.com/2p0LfkyVC3
— Tumaini Carayol (@tumcarayol) January 25, 2023
Tennis Australia subsequent to these events provided an official statement saying, “Four people in the crowd leaving the stadium revealed inappropriate flags and symbols and threatened security guards. Victoria Police intervened and are continuing to question them. The comfort and safety of everyone is our priority and we work closely with security and authorities.”
Belarusian and Russian flags have been completely and unequivocally banned from the championship due to a complaint lodged by the Ukraine ambassador to the country last week. Belarus is the staging ground for Russia’s war on Ukraine, which Moscow terms a “special operation.”
Furthermore, in the photos uploaded on various social media platforms, one fan was seen wearing a t-shirt with the letter “Z” embossed on it.
Триколор, Путін і символ Z. На трибунах та біля арени Australian Open знову рашистські символи 😡😡😡
Хоча їх заборонили ще після першого інциденту.#russiaisateroriststate pic.twitter.com/yKE1AwjgrS
— Tribuna.com Україна (@tribunaua) January 25, 2023
The symbol “Z” is a representation of people supporting the Russian invasion of Ukraine due to its initial use by the Russian forces on their official vehicles during the invasion.
Following the tragic events of the Ukrainian invasion, Wimbledon banned Russian and Belarusian players from the championship, they however have been allowed to compete in the Australian Open provided they agree with the terms of individual representation without any national affiliation to their respective countries.
Every player participating in the championship has their name on the draw sheets without their national flags and the same is followed by the TV broadcasts.
👀 And just like that … we believe this is the 1st display of the Z symbol of Russia’s war on Ukraine at the international tennis tournament.
🤔 Looks like he was hiding it under the white t-shirt huh? pic.twitter.com/iG6Z0wtdkq
— Ukrainian Tennis • BTU (@ukrtennis_eng) January 25, 2023
The details following the scandal are yet to surface but from the looks of it points toward players urging for an immediate ban on such actions from Tennis Australia including former Ukrainian tennis professional Alex Dolgopolov.
Fans get raged at spectators for unacceptable flag-waving at the Australian Open
While the world hasn’t taken kindly to the recent outrageous events at the Australian Open, several fans expressed their concerns and condemned such practices at the prestigious Melbourne slam.
Why is the tournament allowing this? #AusOpen
— Helen BH (@helenbhans) January 25, 2023
Another fan took to Twitter to express his concerns, labeling the Russian government as “terrorists” and solidifying his stance on why such activities are being permitted on the championship’s premises.
@AustralianOpen @atptour is it okay for you that there are flags of terrorists on the territory of your event?
— критерій хі квадрат (@chisquaredtest) January 25, 2023
Many reactors have also conveyed their beliefs and asked the authorities to simply ban the group causing discrepancies as such.
This Group should be banned from accesing Melbourne Park Again… #AusOpen
— Justyna Żółkiewska (@ZolkiewskaJ) January 25, 2023
Get them out! pic.twitter.com/52cIA9OzZp
— Dr. Fauci’s Australian Open 🎾 (@intrigu04518418) January 25, 2023
While some fans supported Australia’s strict policies prohibiting such actions, another user stood in favor of it and described it as a mere “freedom of expression.”
freedom of expression ..
— pietro gussio (@ramirez1951) January 25, 2023
Overall, most of the fans and the global tennis community are petrified of such activities taking place on the official premises of the Australian Open and have requested authorities to take necessary action against them.
Which Russian and Belarusian players have participated in the Australian Open?
According to the guidelines published by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) in 2022, players representing the Russian Tennis Federation and Belarus Tennis Federation were banned from competing in any international team competition, but their individual representation was permitted.
In accordance with the guidelines, the ATP and WTA also complied with the directions issued by the ITF and strictly prohibited players from Russia and Belarus to appear under the names of their respective flags.
Russian player Daniil Medvedev and Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka played as neutrals in the Grand Slams of 2022 and the Australian Open’s decision sided with the guidelines of ITF.
The Australian authorities decided to let the Russian and Belarusian players compete in the championship, provided they do not play under their country’s name/flag.
Players participating in the Australian Open are the top 20 ranked ATP professionals including Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev, and Karen Khachanov. The top players from the WTA circuit competing are Aryna Sabalenka, Daria Kasatkina, Ekaterina Alexandrova, and Liudmila Samsonova.
Discussion about this post