Kosovo’s Olympic Committee Calls for Novak Djokovic Sanctions for Promoting ‘Serbian Nationalists Propaganda’ With Political Message at French Open
The Kosovan Olympic Committee wants Serbian tennis player Novak Djovokic to face disciplinary action for the political message he wrote in the first round of the French Open.
After winning his first round match, Djokovic wrote, “Kosovo is the (heart) of Serbia. Stop the violence,” on a camera lens. The message was shown on the big screen of the venue.
That message — as well as his comments during his press conference — have been interpreted as Djokovic not recognizing the sovereignty of Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia in 2008.
Now, the KOC has called on the International Olympic Committee and International Tennis Federation to take action.
“Novak Djokovic has yet again promoted the Serbian nationalists propaganda and used the sport platform to do so,” KOC President Ismet Krasniqi said in a statement. “Additionally, the further post-match statements, made by such a public figure without any feeling of remorse, directly result in raising the level of tension and violence between the two countries, Kosovo and Serbia.”
@NOCKOSOVO has reacted today to the @Olympics & @ITFTennis,regarding the incident of the Serbian 🎾 player, Novak Djokovic, who once again promoted the Serbian nationalists propaganda “Kosovo is the heart of Serbia, stop violence”.We truly hope that the IOC will raise its voice. pic.twitter.com/71qqCvBdiC
— NOC KOSOVO 🥇🥇🥇 (@NOCKOSOVO) May 30, 2023
Tensions have risen recently after ethnically-Albanian mayors took office in Northern Kosovo. The ensuing protests have turned violent.
“I respectfully urge that IOC reacts within its framework,” Krasniqi said, “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.”
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