French Minister and Roland Garros Address Novak Djokovic’s Political Message

Novak Djokovic

This article was last updated on May 31, 2023

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French Sports Minister Calls Djokovic’s Message “Militant and Very Political”

The French sports minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra is not happy with the political message that Novak Djokovic conveyed at Roland Garros at the beginning of this week. The tournament organization has addressed the 22-time Grand Slam winner about this.

Djokovic wrote “Kosovo is the heart of Serbia. Stop the violence” on a camera lens after beating American Aleksandar Kovacevic in the opening round on Monday.

French Sports Minister Criticizes Djokovic’s Political Message

“It was not appropriate. An athlete is free to defend human rights and unite people, but this was militant and very political. That must not happen again,” Oudéa-Castéra told TV2 on Wednesday.

The minister adds that former top tennis player and tournament director Amélie Mauresmo also spoke to 36-year-old Djokovic and his coaching team about the incident.

Kosovo Olympic Committee Calls for Punishment

The Kosovo Olympic Committee wants the Serb to be punished. “Novak Djokovic has again used sport to promote Serbian nationalism,” said chairman Ismet Krasniqi.

“Statements made by such a public figure without any sense of remorse directly raise the level of tension and violence between the two countries.”

The French Tennis Federation (FFT) is not taking any action against Djokovic, as there are no official Grand Slam rules about what players can or cannot say. Tennis federation ATP can intervene.

NATO Soldiers Injured in Clashes with Serbian Demonstrators

On Monday, about thirty NATO soldiers were injured in clashes with Serbian demonstrators in Zvecan, North Kosovo (where Djokovic’s father grew up). The reason was the appointment of ethnic Albanian mayors in the north of Kosovo.

In that area, the mayors are not recognized as their representatives by the Serbian demonstrators. The Serbs form a majority and do not accept Kosovo’s 2008 declaration of independence.

Djokovic Continues His Hunt for 23rd Grand Slam Title

Djokovic continues the hunt for his 23rd Grand Slam title on Wednesday. In the second round of Roland Garros, he will play against the Hungarian Márton Fucsovics.

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