Home Foreign News Novak Djokovic’s father joins Putin supporters at Australian Open | World News

Novak Djokovic’s father joins Putin supporters at Australian Open | World News

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Video has emerged of Novak Djokovic’s father at a pro-Russian demonstration at the Australian Open tennis.

Srdjan Djokovic is standing next to a man holding a flag printed with the image of Vladimir Putin.

The bearded man is wearing a T-shirt with the pro-war Z symbol on it.

Mr Djokovic makes a brief comment to him. That remark, according to the caption on the video, is: “Long live the Russians.”

The footage was posted on YouTube by Simeon Boikov – who is reportedly a Putin supporter – using the handle Aussie Cossack.

After Novak Djokovic’s quarter-final victory over Russian Andrey Rublev, a group gathered on some steps outside the tournament’s main venue, the Rod Laver Arena, holding Russian flags and chanting “Serbia, Russia”.

One of them appeared to be the same man Mr Djokovic was pictured standing next to, holding the Putin flag.

The Ukrainian ambassador to Australia, Vasyl Myroshnychenko, said the protest was a “disgrace”.

He tweeted: “It’s a full package. Among the Serbian flags, there is: a Russian flag, Putin, Z symbol, so-called Donetsk People’s Republic flag. It’s such a disgrace…”

The former Ukrainian tennis player Alex Dolgopolov, who is serving with the Ukrainian army, tweeted that the scenes were “absolutely disgusting”.

A fan waves a flag of Vladimir Putin at the Australian Open
Pic:Aussie Cossack
A man with a Vladimir Putin flag at the Australian Open.
Pic: Aussie Cossack

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Four people were questioned by police and evicted from the site in Melbourne over “inappropriate flags and symbols” and threatening security guards, Tennis Australia said on Wednesday.

It added on Thursday that one of them was “now assisting police with unrelated matters”.

Last week, Russian and Belarusian flags were banned for the remainder of the grand slam tournament after a flag was displayed at a match between Russian and Ukrainian players.

Players and their teams have been reminded of tournament policy, Tennis Australia said.

“Players and their teams have been briefed and reminded of the event policy regarding flags and symbols and to avoid any situation that has the potential to disrupt,” its statement said.

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

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