Novak Djokovic’s father poses with fan wearing pro-Russia ‘Z’ symbol at the Australian Open



Australian Open told CNN it had “briefed and reminded” players and their teammates about the tournament’s “flags and insignia policy” on Thursday after the video surfaced on Wednesday. Novak Djokovic’Sreejan’s father, in a demonstration with fans holding Russian flags, voicing his support for Russia.

In a video posted on YouTube by a known Vladimir Putin supporter, the Serbian player’s father can be seen posing with a fan outside Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena. The man wears a “Z” symbol on his shirt, while holding a Russian flag with Putin’s face on it. “Long live Russia,” he says.

“Z” is the symbol Seen as a sign of support for Russia, including its invasion of Ukraine. The symbol has been seen on Russian equipment and clothing in Ukraine.

“Players and their teams have been informed and reminded of the event policy regarding flags and symbols and have been asked to avoid the possibility of disrupting any situation,” an Australian Open spokesperson told CNN on Thursday.

“We continue to work closely with incident security and law enforcement agencies.”

“A small group of people displayed inappropriate flags and signs and threatened security guards after a match on Wednesday night and were ejected,” the Australian Open spokesperson added. A guardian is now assisting the police on unrelated matters. ”

In a statement on Friday that addressed criticism of his actions but stopped short of apologizing, Djokovic said he was in Melbourne “only to support my son” and “not to cause any headlines or disruption.” had no intention.”

“I was out with Novak’s fans like I did after all my son’s matches to celebrate his win and take pictures with them. I had no intention of getting caught up in it,” he said.

“My family has lived through the horrors of war, and we only wish for peace.”

He added that he will watch his son’s semi-final match against US star Tommy Paul from home on Friday “so there is no disruption for my son or the other player.”

Novak Djokovic would not comment on the situation, his management told CNN.

Earlier on Friday, Ukraine’s ambassador to Australia urged the player to state his position on the war, saying the incident with his father was “inflammatory” and “shines a negative light on Novak himself. Because he was preparing for his semi-final.”

“I think it’s important for him to make a very strong statement to dispel speculation about where he stands on this war, and I want to apologize to Novak Djokovic,” Ukraine’s ambassador Vasyl Myroshnichenko told CNN. would like to,” Ukraine’s ambassador Vasyl Myroshnichenko told CNN.

“Of course, the son cannot be responsible for the sins of his father, but he may have the same thoughts as his father. I think the world should know where he stands. ”

Tennis Australia has confirmed four people were kicked out of the tournament on Wednesday for displaying pro-war imagery.

According to the rules of the Australian Open Russian and Belarusian flags are banned from the incident.

Tennis Australia has a “neutral flag” policy and this policy has been re-emphasized during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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