Sport

Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina refuses to play against Russian opponents

Ukrainian tennis star Elina Svitolina has said she will not go to court against Russian or Belarussian players until the sport’s governing bodies take action. Russia’s Invasion of Her Homeland.

Svitolina, ranked 15th in the world, was scheduled to face Anastasia Potapova of Russia at the Monterrey Open in Mexico on Tuesday, but she dropped out of the match.

“… We – Ukrainian tennis players – have asked the ATP, WTA and ITF to follow the IOC recommendations to accept only Russian or Belarussian nationals as neutral athletes, without displaying any logos, colors, or colors. colors, flags or national anthems,” Svitolina, 27, wrote in a statement about Instagram.

“Accordingly, I would like to announce that I will not be competing [Tuesday] in Monterrey, as well as any other match against Russian or Belarussian tennis players until this necessary decision is made by our organizations.

“I don’t blame any Russian athletes. They are not responsible for the invasion of our motherland. Furthermore, I would like to thank all the players, especially the Russians and Belgians, who bravely declared their opposition to the war. Their support is much needed,” she concluded.

Potapova responds to Svitolina’s decision in one separate statement posted to her Instagram account, condemning “grief, tears and war.”

“As a rule, ever since I was a kid, I have dreamed of playing tennis without choosing a match, country or partner in the game… for me there is no opponent from any country. Come on, I fight to win, my best match. , my best result… Unfortunately, now we professional athletes are basically being held hostage to the current circumstances,” Potapova wrote.

“I apologize, but although I am a foreigner to politics, I am against grief, tears and war. Peace unites the world, and everyone should remain human in it. “

On Monday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) “recommends” that individual sport governing bodies ban Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials from attending international events.

The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) said in a statement that it strongly disagrees with the IOC’s ruling.

On Sunday, Svitolina said to CNN that she is tossing and turning because she is worried about her family, currently still in Ukraine, taking refuge in the city of Odessa.

Anastasia Potapova of Russia says professional athletes have become "hostage" about Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Russia’s Anastasia Potapova says professional athletes are “basically being held hostage” in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
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“I didn’t get much sleep, trying to see what was going on, how we could help and what we could do,” Svitolina said. “This is the worst time of my life because I have parents, friends, Ukrainians who are fighting there for our country. This is a very, very difficult time for everyone. “

Svitolina further expressed fear that Russia would invade Odessa.

“We are really worried because this part is very attractive for Russia,” she said. “It’s next to the Black Sea, it has a port and we’ve heard that it could be in great danger.”

Svitolina’s stance came at the same time FIFA and UEFA announced Second that “all Russian teams, whether national or club teams, will be suspended from participating in FIFA and UEFA competitions until further notice.”

https://nypost.com/2022/03/01/ukraines-elina-svitolina-refuses-to-play-russian-opponent/ Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina refuses to play against Russian opponents

JOE HERNANDEZ

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