Australia Bans Russian and Belarusian Flags From the Australian Open

Tennis Australia bans Russian and Belarusian flags during the Australian Open

Tennis Australia announced on Tuesday a new regulation whereby Russian and Belarusian flags are strictly prohibited within the premises of the Australian Open. This decision was prompted by an incident during a match between a Russian and a Ukrainian tennis player on the first day.

The supporters of Russian tennis player Kamilla Rakhimova waved Russian flags in support for the athlete, while her fans called the police and security teams in response.

The Ukrainian ambassador to Australia, Vasyl Myroshnychenko, tweeted a condemnation of the display of the Russian flags, almost a year after beginning of a Russian offensive against Ukraine, urging Tennis Australia to “immediately put put into practice its policy of flag neutrality”.

Tennis Australia now strictly enforces advocates “flag neutrality” and a ban of Russian and Belarusian insignia “is effective immediately”. The organization explained on Tuesday that its initial policy was that fans could bring the national flags but never “use them to cause tension”.

The organizing party is trying with special emphasis this year to ensure that the Melbourne tournament passes without other incidents, after the last edition was remembered for the deportation of Novak Djokovic for not being vaccinated against covid-19.

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