Twenty-time grand slam champion Novak Djokovic has slammed Wimbledon describing its ban on Russian and Belarusian tennis players as “crazy.”
Djokovic, who grew up in war-torn Serbia, said the athletes had nothing to do with the ongoing conflict and that politics should not interfere in sport. “When politics interferes with sport, the result is not good”, he said.
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Wimbledon announced on Wednesday that it had banned all Russian and Belarusian palyers from this year’s championships due to the invasion.
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Summit News reports: Players had initially been expected to be given an opportunity to perform an act of ideological subservience by denouncing Russia in order to be able to take part, but now even this won’t be enough.
Serbian star Djokovic, who was deported earlier this year after attempting to take part in the Australian Open without having been vaccinated, condemned the announcement.
“I will always condemn war, I will never support war being myself a child of war,” he asserted, adding, “I know how much emotional trauma it leaves. In Serbia we all know what happened in 1999. In the Balkans we have had many wars in recent history.”
“However, I cannot support the decision of Wimbledon, I think it is crazy. When politics interferes with sport, the result is not good,” said Djokovic.
Wimbledon organizers All England Lawn Tennis Club attempted to justify the ban by saying it would be “unacceptable for the Russian regime to derive any benefits from the involvement of Russian or Belarusian players with The Championships.”
However, both the ATP and the WTA slammed Wimbledon over the decision.
Men’s tour organizers ATP said it was “unfair and has the potential to set a damaging precedent for the game.”
The WTA said the ban was “neither fair nor justified.”
The ban opens up future possibilities for players to be banned from tournaments if they don’t express political support for whatever ‘current thing’ cause is popular at the time.
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