Ukraine criticizes decision to admit Russian tennis players to Wimbledon

1 April, 01:13 AM
Wimbledon (Photo:REUTERS/Paul Childs/File Photo)

Wimbledon (Photo:REUTERS/Paul Childs/File Photo)

The recent decision to permit tennis players from Russia and Belarus to participate in the 2023 Wimbledon tennis tournament drew sharp criticism from Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

The minister called on the UK government to refuse visas to Russian and Belarusian would-be competitors.

“Wimbledon's decision to permit the participation of Russian and Belarusian players is immoral,” Kuleba said in a Twitter post on March 31.

“Has Russia ceased its aggression or atrocities? No, it’s just that Wimbledon decided to accommodate two accomplices in crime.”

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Earlier on March 31, the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC), which runs the tournament, announced a ruling that would allow tennis players from Russia and Belarus to participate. They would have to perform as neutral athletes, forbidden to express support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Players receiving state funding from Russia or Belarus won’t be admitted to the tournament.

In 2022, Russian athletes were banned from the Wimbledon, which meant that all participants couldn’t earn any ATP Tour rating points from it.

Wimbledon 2023 will take place in the UK on July 3-16.

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