The decision made by the Wimbledon organizers, which excluded Russian and Belarusian tennis players from the third Grand Slam of the year, is causing a lot of discussion. Adriano Panatta, in an interview with the newspaper La Repubblica, did not beat around the bush and attacked the position assumed by the Championships.
“Something very bad and an absurd decision. Russian tennis players are people, they are not a nation. In addition, they did not agree with the war either.
These are people who do a job. I can still understand an Olympic context, the Davis Cup, the world championships. That is, a context where the nation is represented, but that? The problems of war are not resolved, horrible and I say it and I repeat it, horrible.
They beat up Rublev who wrote peace on the camera after playing.”
Panatta: “It’s a form of racism”
On the occasion of the presentation of Sky Original’s new Una Squadra dimentary series, Panatta returned to the next edition of Wimbledon recalling the famous red jersey worn in Chile in 1976.
“Today at the Foro Italico I would play with the Ukraine shirt. It’s a shame they can’t play. We veto it, but then relations with Russia continue. This was the case between Italy and Chile also in 1976.
It’s a form of racism,” Panatta said in comments reported by Sky Sport. He then added: “If I go to Paris, I am an Italian in France, I certainly do not represent Italy.
Excluding Russian and Belarusian tennis players from Wimbledon is a big mistake that penalizes twenty players between men and women and the hypothesis of extending the decision also to the Internazionali d’Italia is crazy.”
“I don’t think this is the time to decide to exclude Russian and Belarusian tennis players from Rome. Until now, the IOC has recommended this route to the federations to sanction Putin’s Russia.
Before Rome starts next Monday, the Madrid tournament should have the same problem, let’s see what happens in Spain.”