Australian Open | Four spectators questioned for unfurling Russian flags at matches

(Melbourne) Four Australian Open tennis spectators were being questioned by police on Wednesday after unfurling Russian flags, including one bearing the likeness of Vladimir Putin, at matches, Australian media said.

These spectators attended in particular the meeting between Russian Andrey Rublev and Serbian Novak Djokovic won by the latter, the newspapers said. The Age and Herald Sun.

“Four people leaving the stadium displayed inappropriate flags and symbols and threatened the security guards,” said a spokesman for the organizers, Tennis Australia, quoted by these media.

“Victoria State Police have responded and are continuing to question them. The comfort and safety of all are our priority and we are working closely with the police and the authorities”, adds the same source.

AFP has contacted Tennis Australia for further information.

In scenes broadcast online, at least one man is shown waving a Russian flag with President Vladimir Putin’s face on it.

Following an intervention last week by Ukraine’s ambassador to Australia, spectators at the Australian Open are prohibited from waving the emblems of Russia or Belarus.

Since the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, Russian and Belarusian tennis players have participated in tennis tournaments under a white neutral flag and with the status of independents.

source site-62