Russians and Belarusians at Wimbledon, Ukraine responds: "Immoral decision"

Wimbledon will welcome back Russian and Belarusian tennis players this year, albeit as neutral athletes

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Russians and Belarusians at Wimbledon, Ukraine responds: "Immoral decision"

After the entry ban imposed in 2022, Wimbledon will welcome back Russian and Belarusian tennis players this year, albeit as neutral athletes. This is the official decision of the organizers of the historic and glorious English tournament, provided that two essential conditions are respected: no expressions of support for the Russian invasion in various forms and, furthermore, the entry of players receiving funding from Russian and/or Belarusian states, including sponsorship from state-owned or controlled companies.

The decision, however, found strong opposition from Ukraine in the person of its Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, who expressed his disappointment via social media. He said: "Wimbledon's decision to allow the participation of Russian and Belarusian players is immoral.

Has Russia ceased its aggression or atrocities? No, it's just that Wimbledon has decided to host two accomplices in crime. I ask the British government to deny visas to players."

Ian Hewitt: "Aware of the impact of the decision"

The last edition opted for a tough punch, with the decision by the ATP and WTA not to award points to players on the field at Wimbledon.

This time things have changed, even though the atrocities of the Russo-Ukrainian war are still alive, and the managers present at the All England Club have chosen to reopen, but with limitations. Ian Hewitt told: "This has been an incredibly difficult decision, one not taken lightly or without great consideration for the impact it will have.

We continue to totally condemn the illegal invasion of Russia and our full support remains with the people of Ukraine." As for the conditions to which Russian and Belarusian tennis players will have to submit, the organization clarified them through an official statement: "Our current intention is to accept registrations from Russian and Belarusian players, provided they compete as neutral athletes and respect the appropriate conditions.

These will prohibit expressions of support for the Russian invasion in various forms and will ban the entry of players who receive funding from Russian and/or Belarusian states (including sponsorship from companies run or controlled by the same states)."

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