Novak Djokovic: Kosovan Olympic Committee calls for disciplinary action against tennis star after French Open message
Kosovan Olympic Committee (KOC) International Olympic Committee (IOC) and international tennis The Federation (ITF) will take disciplinary action against Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic.
On Monday, Djokovic left a political message over the lens of a TV camera at the French Open in response to the violent clashes in Kosovo, writing: “Kosovo [heart symbol] of Serbia Stop the violence” in Serbian.
In a letter written by KOC president Ismet Krasniqi and addressed to the IOC, the KOC said Djokovic’s message “violates the fundamental principle of the IOC Charter on the point of political neutrality and adds another political statement to the sport. is.”
CNN has reached out to Djokovic’s representation for comment.
The KOC claimed that Djokovic “nevertheless promoted Serbian nationalist propaganda and used the sports platform to do so,” which “increased the level of tension and violence between the two countries, Kosovo and Serbia.”
Tensions have been rising over the past week in Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia in 2008. After elections in April, boycotted by Kosovo Serbs, clashes erupted Monday with protesters in northern Kosovo after ethnic Albanian mayors took office. .
Djokovic elaborated on his message to the Serbian in a press conference this week: “It’s the least I could do. I feel a responsibility as a public figure – no matter what area to support.
“Especially as the son of a man born in Kosovo, I feel the need to give my support to my people and all of Serbia. I don’t know, and I think a lot of other people don’t know, what the future holds for Kosovo and the Serbian people, but it’s important to show support and show solidarity in these kinds of situations.
Djokovic’s reference to “the integrity of Serbia” reflects the policy of the Serbian government, which still considers Kosovo an integral part of its territory and does not recognize the country’s independence.
Krasnicki warned that, if no action is taken against Djokovic, it “sets a dangerous precedent that sports can be used as a platform for political messages.”
He added: “I respectfully request that the IOC react within its framework and request the ITF to follow the principles governed by the Olympic Charter and investigate the matter by initiating disciplinary action against the athlete.”
In a statement sent to CNN, an ITF spokesperson said: “We have received and acknowledged a letter from the Kosovo Tennis Federation and forwarded it to the relevant Grand Slam authority.
“The rules for the conduct of players at Grand Slam events are governed by the Grand Slam Rulebook, which is administered by the relevant organizer and regulator. It does not contain any provision that prohibits political statements.”
CNN has reached out to the IOC for comment on the matter but did not immediately receive a response.
Djokovic will play Hungary’s Marten Fuksovics in the second round of the French Open on Wednesday.