Wimbledon introduced the ban in gentle of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Tennis star Novak Djokovic has referred to as a ban on Russian and Belarusian gamers competing at Wimbledon “loopy”.
His critique on Thursday got here a day after the oldest tennis event on the planet introduced the measure, in gentle of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
Wimbledon, which relies in the UK, turned the primary tennis event to forestall particular person rivals from the 2 international locations from competing amid the persevering with battle.
Talking to reporters on the Serbia Open, Djokovic stated he “can not help the choice of Wimbledon”.
“I feel it’s loopy,” he added. “When politics interferes with sport, the outcome will not be good.”
He added, nonetheless, that he’ll “at all times condemn battle, I’ll by no means help battle, being myself a toddler of battle … I understand how a lot emotional trauma it leaves. In Serbia, everyone knows what occurred in 1999. Within the Balkans, we’ve got had many wars in current historical past.”
The ban means world quantity two Daniil Medvedev from Russia and girls’s fourth-ranked Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus is not going to take part within the June 27-July 10 competitors.
Ian Hewitt, chairman of the All England Membership, stated on Wednesday, “We recognise that that is onerous on the people affected, and it’s with disappointment that they are going to undergo for the actions of the leaders of the Russian regime.”
Djokovic has not shied away from controversy throughout his skilled profession, most not too long ago throughout a public standoff with Australian officers over his refusal to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
The tennis participant was additionally broadly criticised in September of 2021 for eating with Milan Jolovic, a former commander of the infamous Drina Wolves paramilitary unit, which participated within the genocide in opposition to Bosniaks in Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Jolovic is widely known by many Serbs for saving the lifetime of convicted battle felony Ratko Mladic through the battle in Bosnia within the early Nineteen Nineties.
A UN court docket in 2017 discovered Mladic responsible of genocide and battle crimes in Bosnia and sentenced him to life imprisonment.
Earlier than the dinner, Djokovic was additionally seen singing at a marriage in Bosnia with Bosnia’s Serb member of the presidency, Milorad Dodik, a widely known genocide denier who commonly advocates for the secession of Bosnia’s Serb-run entity, Republika Srpska, from the nation.