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Djokovic’s Father Gets Last Warning over Russian Flag Drama
Novak Djokovic’s father has been warned about his future behaviour after causing outrage at the 2023 Australian Open by posing with a Russian flag with Vladimir Putin’s face on it.
Tournament officials were forced to issue a statement after a video emerged on a pro-Russia YouTube channel showing controversial Srdjan Djokovic’s actions.
Soon after the Serbian star reached the semi-finals on Thursday night, his father mingled with fans declaring their support for Russia. Police and Tennis Australia later confirmed that four spectators were evicted from Melbourne Park.
Australian Open entry rules forbid any flags in support of Russia or Belarus.
A video posted on YouTube shows Srdjan posing alongside the flag and a sympathiser who shouts ‘Long Live Russia!’
Srdjan is shown being warmly greeted by his son’s fans and he appears to say something supportive before moving on.
The player himself has desperately tried to avoid controversy since arriving in Australia to focus on his title efforts as he prepares to meet American Tommy Paul in the semi-final on Friday.
Unwittingly or not, on Wednesday he could be seen signing something for a man who had earlier been wearing a ‘Z’ T-shirt – Z having become the makeshift logo of the Russian invaders of Ukraine.
This led embarrassed Tennis Australia to issue a general warning at a tournament where players from the aggressor nations are still left in.
‘A small group of people displayed inappropriate flags and symbols and threatened security guards following a match on Wednesday night and were evicted,’ it read.
‘One patron is now assisting police with unrelated matters. 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.
‘We continue to work closely with event security and law enforcement agencies,’ read the statement.
Separately, there has been speculation about the seriousness of a hamstring injury the tennis champion has been carrying while progressing through the tournament.
A faction of Serbian fans at Melbourne Park have been keen to demonstrate kinship for Russia, in spite of the massive human cost of the Ukraine invasion on both sides.
Attempts to stop them displaying support for Putin at the tennis tournament have not been successful, judging by Wednesday night.
Ukraine’s ambassador to Australia, Vasyl Myroshnychenko, expressed his disgust at their behaviour today.
‘It’s a full package. Among the Serbian flags there is a Russian flag, Putin, Z-symbol, so called Donetsk People Republic flag. It’s such a disgrace,’ he told the Herald Sun.
Ayemere, O’ TRAFFORD Squash Club Trustee Loses Mum
The Funeral Mass for the mother of founding secretary and Trustee of OTTRAFORD Squash Club, Barrister Cyril Ayemere, has been fixed for this weekend in Igueben, Edo State.
The late Princess Bridget Eke Ayemere who passed on January 2, this year aged 90 years lived a purposeful and exemplary life that impacted on the well-being of her children, grand children and entire household.
The Funeral Mass comes up today, January 27, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Igueben, Edo State, at 10 am. There will also be a Thanksgiving Mass for the late octogenarian at the same venue on Sunday, January 29, by 8 am.
She was survived by her children – Mrs. Josephine Agbontaen, Cyril Ayemere, Mrs. Blessing Igbinidu (Canada) and Gloria Ayemere (Canada), Daughters in Laws, Grandchildren and Great Grand Children.