Last Updated: January 17, 2023, 08:31 IST
Tennis Australia on Tuesday banned Russian and Belarusian flags on the Australian Open after Ukraine’s ambassador demanded motion once they have been sighted among the many crowd.
The crimson, white, and blue stripes of Russia have been seen Monday throughout a first-round conflict between Ukraine’s Kateryna Baindl and Russia’s Kamilla Rakhimova on day one.
Ukrainian followers reportedly referred to as safety and police to the stands.
A Russian flag was additionally unfurled on Rod Laver Arena throughout Daniil Medvedev’s conflict with American Marcos Giron.
“Flags from Russia and Belarus are banned onsite on the Australian Open,” Tennis Australia said in a statement.
“Our initial policy was that fans could bring them in but could not use them to cause disruption. Yesterday, we had an incident where a flag was placed courtside.
“The ban is effective immediately. We will continue to work with the players and our fans to ensure the best possible environment to enjoy the tennis.”
Since the invasion of Ukraine, Russian and Belarusian gamers have usually competed below a impartial flag as independents, as is the case on the Australian Open.
Ukraine’s ambassador to Australia and New Zealand, Vasyl Myroshnychenko, late Monday referred to as on Tennis Australia to take motion.
“I strongly condemn the general public show of the Russian flag in the course of the recreation of the Ukrainian tennis participant Kateryna Baindl on the Australian Open,” he tweeted.
“I call on Tennis Australia to immediately enforce its ‘neutral flag’ policy.”
Myroshnychenko final week urged the Australian Open to ban Russian and Belarusian gamers fully — the latter as a consequence of Belarus’ assist of Vladimir Putin’s warfare.
Wimbledon went down that route final 12 months, with gamers from the 2 nations barred, which led to the match being stripped of its rating factors by the ATP and WTA.
Former Australian ambassador to Ukraine Doug Trappett, who served within the function from 2015 to 2016, additionally hit out at Australian Open organisers.
“Embarrassing @AustralianOpen -– and it’s solely day one,” he tweeted.
“You could have banned Russian players and positioned yourself to give a robust response to such predictable incidents but you chose spinelessness.”
Baindl gained her match 7-5, 6-7, (8/10), 6-1 and will face American Caty McNally within the second spherical.
Ukrainian-Australian fan Maria Tumarkin advised the Melbourne Age newspaper she was the one who referred to as safety, claiming Russian followers have been heckling Baindl.
“This is profoundly unsafe, the warfare is ongoing,” she said. “It’s a small court, the guys were extremely close to the players, so there was an element of what I felt was intimidation.”
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