Novak Djokovic: Kosovan Olympic Committee calls for disciplinary action against tennis star after French Open message


The Kosovan Olympic Committee (KOC) has known as for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Tennis Federation (ITF) to take disciplinary action against Serbian tennis participant Novak Djokovic.

On Monday, Djokovic left a political message on a TV digital camera lens on the French Open in response to violent clashes in Kosovo, writing: “Kosovo is the [heart symbol] of Serbia. Stop the violence” in Serbian.

In a letter written by KOC President Ismet Krasniqi and addressed to the IOC, the KOC mentioned Djokovic’s message “breached the fundamental principle of the IOC charter on the point of political neutrality and involved yet another political statement in sport.”

CNN has reached out to Djokovic’s illustration for remark.

The KOC claimed Djokovic “yet again promoted the Serbian nationalists propaganda and used the sport platform to do so,” thereby elevating “the level of tension and violence between the two countries, Kosovo and Serbia.”

Tensions have been rising up to now week in Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia in 2008. There had been clashes with protestors on Monday after ethnically Albanian mayors took workplace in northern Kosovo, a majority Kosovo Serb space, following April elections that Kosovo Serbs had boycotted.

Djokovic elaborated on his message in Serbian at a press convention this week, saying: “This is the least I might have completed. I really feel the duty as a public determine – doesn’t matter wherein discipline – to present assist.

“Especially as a son of a man born in Kosovo, I feel the need to give my support to our people and to the entirety of Serbia. I don’t know, and I think many others don’t know, what the future brings for Kosovo and for Serbian people, but it’s necessary to show support and demonstrate unity in these kinds of situations.”

Djokovic’s reference to the “entirety of Serbia” displays the coverage of the Serbian authorities, which nonetheless considers Kosovo to be an integral a part of its territory and has not acknowledged the nation’s independence.

Krasniqi warned that, if no action was taken against Djokovic, it “sets a dangerous precedent that sport can be used as a platform for political messages.”

He added: “I respectfully urge that IOC reacts within its framework and requests to the ITF to follow the principles regulated by the Olympic Charter and investigate on this matter by opening a disciplinary proceedings against the athlete.”

In a press release despatched to CNN, an ITF spokesperson mentioned: “We have acquired and acknowledged a letter from the Kosovo Tennis Federation and have forwarded it to the related Grand Slam authority.

“Rules for player conduct at a Grand Slam event are governed by the Grand Slam rulebook, administered by the relevant organiser and regulator. There is no provision in this that prohibits political statements.”

CNN has contacted the IOC for touch upon the matter however didn’t instantly obtain a response.

Djokovic performs within the second spherical of the French Open against Hungary’s Márton Fucsovics on Wednesday.

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