The Belarusian Tennis Federation (BTF) condemned on Thursday Wimbledon's decision to ban Belarusian and Russian tennis players from competing at the tournament this year, stressing that such actions incite intolerance based on nationality
MINSK (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 21st April, 2022) The Belarusian Tennis Federation (BTF) condemned on Thursday Wimbledon's decision to ban Belarusian and Russian tennis players from competing at the tournament this year, stressing that such actions incite intolerance based on nationality.
On Wednesday, Wimbledon banned Russian and Belarusian tennis players from participating in the tournament over Russia's operation in Ukraine. At the same time, organizers said that they may review the decision before June "if circumstances change." Wimbledon's decision was condemned by the Association of Tennis Professionals, the Women's Tennis Association and a number of current and former tennis players, including Serbian star Novak Djokovic and many-time Wimbledon champion, US-Czech athlete Martina Navratilova.
"The Belarusian Tennis Federation categorically condemns the decision made by organizers of Wimbledon to ban Belarusian and Russian tennis players. Such destructive actions in no way contribute to the resolution of conflicts, but only incite hatred and intolerance on national grounds," the BTF said in a statement.
The BTF stressed that the decision was contrary to a joint statement made by international tennis organizations, which allowed Belarusian and Russian tennis players to participate in their individual competitions in a neutral status. According to the organization, the ban imposed by Wimbledon undermines the reputation of the organizations and indicated their incompetence.
"The pressure and national origin discrimination by the British government, which is at the same time talking about the prevention of the manifestation of racism, demonstrates a policy of double standards applied by the country's leadership against Belarusian and Russian athletes," the statement read.
In addition, the BTF noted that Ukrainian calls for the ban of Russian and Belarusian players pushed organizers to divide the tennis community for political reasons, which is categorically unacceptable.
"We would like to note that the BTF has repeatedly declared its readiness to provide comprehensive assistance to Ukrainian tennis players, but our proposals remained unheard," the BTF added.