The French government today criticized the Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic for his message related to the critical situation in the north of Kosovoafter defeating the American Alexander Kovacevic in his debut in Roland Garros.
“Kosovo is the heart of Serbia. Stop the violence,” wrote the number three in the ATP ranking about the focus of one of the television cameras at the end of the match he won by 6-3, 6-2 and 7-6 (7/1).
Djokovic appealed to his popularity to put on the table the inter-ethnic tension that is plaguing the “Balkans” again, more precisely Kosovo, which declared its independence from Serbia in early 2008.
“It is not appropriate”said today the French Minister of Sports, Amélie Oudéa-Casterawhen questioning Djokovic. his is a gesture “militant and political that should not be repeated”added casterawho in the past was director of the French Tennis Federation.
The declaration of Djokovic targeted violent clashes between Serb protesters against Kosovar police and KFOR troops, the mission of the NATO in Kosovo.
“It hurts a lot as a Serb to witness what is happening”said the tennis player, whose father is of Kosovar origin.
In dialogue with the media in his country, “Nole” stressed that “There are several reasons for writing what I wrote on camera”.
Djokovic He thus alluded to the protests by Serb demonstrators demanding the replacement of ethnic Albanian mayors and which left some 80 injured, 30 of whom are soldiers belonging to the NATO force.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) intervened in the controversy by remembering that “No provision prohibits players from making political statements.” It was after receiving a protest letter sent by the Kosovar federation that it forwarded to the organizers of the second grand slams it’s from the season.
“The rules of conduct for players participating in a Grand Slam tournament are defined by the regulations issued by the organizers and the corresponding authority.”highlighted the ITF.
“I have no intention of getting into a political debate because this is a sensitive issue, but as a public man and the son of a Kosovar I feel a responsibility to express my support for Serbia as a whole.”added to his disclaimer Djokovic.
“I am against violence, conflicts and war”finished Djokovicadding a new chapter to an edition of Roland Garros which also generated debate in relation to the war between Russia and Ukraine.
It was after the gesture of the Ukrainian Martha Kostyuk by refusing to greet his Belarusian rival Aryna Sabalenkawhich earned him the repudiation of the public on the Philippe Chatrier court.
A scene that with different protagonists had also been repeated in the women’s tournament of the recent Rome Masters 1000 that consecrated the Kazakh of Russian origin Elena Rybakina and, in the male box, to the Russian Daniel Medvedevremoved at its premiere in Roland Garros.
Serbs redouble protests in Kosovo and Russia asks that they be respected
Thousands of Serbs from Kosovo protested again today against the election of Albanian mayors in cities of that self-governing territory claimed by Serbianamid growing tension that has caused alarm in Europe and beyond.
On this occasion, many of the Serb protesters carried Jewish symbols to draw a parallel between their situation and the Jewish ghettos during the Second World Warwhich they consider comparable.
The new protest came after more than 30 soldiers from the peacekeeping force of the NATO in Kosovo were injured this week in clashes with Serb protesters in the municipality of zvecanin the north of the territory.
In Russiaa country also of Slavic origin and an ally of Serbianthe president’s spokesman Vladimir Putin called today at “respect” the “rights” of the Serbs of Kosovo.
For the third day in a row, today there were protests in zvecan and in the towns of Zubin, Potok and Leposavicunder the same slogan of demanding the resignation of ethnic Albanian mayors elected in recent elections boycotted by the Serb community of Kosovo.
History and political situation of Kosovo
Kosovo It is a territory located south of Serbian populated mainly by ethnic Albanians, as well as a large minority of Serbs.
Most Albanians are Muslims, while the bulk of Serbs are Orthodox Christians, like the Russians.
The territory was a province of southern Serbia until 2008 when it unilaterally declared its independence.
Serbian has refused to acknowledge the status of kosovo state and he still considers it part of his own, although he has no formal control there.
the independence of Kosovo has been recognized by some 100 of the more than 190 countries, including USA and most of the European Union (EU).
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