- Feb 25, 2024
- Sep 6, 2023
A controversy rocked the ongoing Cincinnati Open in the United States of America after a fan was asked to remove the national flag of Ukraine. The incident took place during a qualifying match between Russian players Anna Kalinskaya and Anastasia Potapova. A fan had wrapped herself in the Ukraine flag. But, she was asked to take it off by the officials.
Not long after, the video of the incident was shared on social media and it didn’t take long for it to go viral. In the video, chair umpire Morgane Lara could be seen speaking to the fan. Once the conversation ended, the fan left the court. She was later reportedly approached by the head of security too, who informed her the flag was above the standard parameters.
However, it has also been reported that the fan was asked to remove the flag only after a Russian player complained to the umpire. Many fans hit out at the authorities for making the fan remove the flag.
Issuing a clarification, a spokesperson for the tournament said: “As per the Western & Southern Open’s bag policy, as stated on the tournament’s website, flags or banners larger than 18 x 18 are prohibited. Therefore, the patron was asked to remove the flag from the grounds and after doing so was allowed to remain at the tournament.
“Any inquiries about the chair umpire should be directed to the WTA Tour,” the statement further said. As of now, the WTA Tour hasn’t reacted to the incident.
Tap to watch a video of the incident:
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) August 15, 2022
Russia and Ukraine have been engaged in a war right from the time Russian Prime Minister Vladamir Putin decided to invade the European country. Even today, no resolution to the conflict has been found.
Earlier, Russian athletes were also banned from participating in certain sporting events. However, Russian tennis players will be allowed to participate in the upcoming US Open 2022.
The US Open will organize a campaign for humanitarian aid for Ukraine with the target of raising $2 million in relief, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) had confirmed last week.