- World number one Djokovic calls Wimbledon decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players “crazy”
- High-profile stars such as Danil Medvedev now set to miss the Grand Slam event set for June
- Wimbledon makes decision following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
Tennis superstar Novak Djokovic has trashed Wimbledon’s decision to ban Russian and Belarus players from the event. According to the Daily Mail, Djokovic has termed the decision as crazy, warning against politics interfering with sports.
Wimbledon has taken cue from other sports organisations and federations which have banned Russian and Belarusian players from their competitions due to the Russia invasion of Ukraine. This move will affect more than 100 players, key among them being the current world number two Danil Medvedev.
I will always condemn war, I know how much trauma it leaves. In Serbia we all know what happened in 1999. In the Balkans we had many wars in recent history.
However, I cannot support the decision of Wimbledon, I think it is crazy when politics interferes with sport.
Wimbledon is run by The All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club and this year’s edition will take place from June 27th to July 10th.
Given the profile of the championships in the United Kingdom and around the world, it is our responsibility to play our part in the widespread efforts of Government, Industry, sporting and creative institutions to limit Russia’s global influence through the strongest means possible, The All England Club said in a statement.
The decision has received backing from the British government with Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston calling it a “decisive action.’’
With Medvedev’s absence, Djokovic’s path will be clearer as he challenges for his 21st grand slam title.
Djokovic not new to controversy
This is not the first time that the Serbian is rubbing shoulders with authority. Earlier this year, the Australian government deported him after his visa was cancelled on health and good order grounds.
Australian laws require that all visitors entering the country must be double vaccinated against the novel corona virus pandemic. The 34-year-old had announced that he had gotten a medical exemption for the time he will be in Melbourne.
The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) has continued to allow players from Russia and Belarus to participate in its tournaments but under neutral flags.
The invasion of Vladimir Putin to Russia has so far claimed big casualties with Russia’s football team getting kicked out of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers. St. Petersburg has also been stripped off the rights to host this season’s UEFA Champions League final.