Tennis superstar Rafael Nadal has blasted Wimbledon’s decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players from competing in their tournament in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
As reported by Rebel News last month, Wimbledon released a statement confirming that players from both Russia and Belarus would be prohibited from competing in the tournament.
British sports minister Nigel Huddleston suggested that players who wished to compete must speak out against Russian President Vladimir Putin, but that is now not enough to be allowed to partake in the tournament.
Rafael Nadal criticized the ban as being “very unfair” to his “Russian mates” and colleagues.
“Poor them…It’s not their fault what’s happening in this moment,” Nadal told reporters. “In that sense, I feel very sorry for them,” Nadal stated, asserting that tournament organizers had taken a drastic decision.
The tennis legend also commented on how blocking Russian and Belarusian players from competing will mess up the ranking system.
“The 2,000 points, whenever we go to the grand slams, they are really important and we have to go to those tournaments. So we will have to see the measures that we take,” he said.
Nadal’s recent comments follow the world’s number one tennis player, Novak Djokovic’s denouncement of the tournament's decision, with Djokovic calling the decision “crazy.”
“I cannot support the decision of Wimbledon, I think it is crazy. When politics interferes with sport, the result is not good,” said Djokovic last month, who was previously the subject of controversy when his travel visa was rejected by the Australian government due to his refusal to submit himself to the COVID-19 vaccine.