24 Jan 2023 13:57
At the Australian Open, a security guard tried to take the Serbian flag from a fan because he mistook it for the Russian one. The fan called the employee a racist. The corresponding video has been circulating online ever since.
The video shows a security guard opening a folder and trying to match the flag on a fan’s back to a country. Meanwhile, he explains that he is wearing the Serbian flag and that Serbia is a country in the Balkans. “Do you know a country like Serbia? Serbia is a country in the Balkans, in Europe. Do you know a country like that? This is a Serbian flag, not a Russian one,” the man said indignantly. He persisted, explaining that Serbia had once belonged to Yugoslavia and calling the employee a racist. “Even if I had a Russian flag, it shouldn’t be banned,” he said.
An Australian Open security guard refused to let a fan into Novak Djokovic’s match with a Serbia flag thinking it was Russian.Then when he found out it wasn’t he said “but you hate Croatians”.The fan said his best friend and girlfriend are Croatian.pic.twitter.com/ii8O2d7p1h
— Sam Street (@samstreetwrites) January 23, 2023
Although the flags of Serbia and Russia consist of horizontal stripes in the same colors, they are arranged in a different order. A coat of arms is also depicted on the Serbian flag.
From January, Russian and Belarusian flags will also be banned in the spectator stands at the Australian Open. The Tennis Australia Association was responding to an incident during a game between Ukraine’s Katerina Baindl and Russia’s Kamilla Rakhimova when fans presented a Russian flag. Because pictures of it were widely shared and criticized on social media, the organizers gave up their original stance regarding the national flags for the fans. These were initially allowed on the Melbourne Park grounds as long as they didn’t bother anyone. “The ban is effective immediately,” Tennis Australia said in a statement. Flags of other countries are still allowed. The Russian embassy in Australia later said the decision was “another example of the unacceptable politicization of sport”.
more on the subject – No broadcasting rights: Russia will not show the Olympics on TV in the coming years