Four Australian Open spectators ‘revealed inappropriate flags and symbols and threatened security guards,’ organizer says


Four people attending the Australian Open were questioned by Victoria police after they “revealed inappropriate flags and symbols and threatened security officers”, a Tennis Australia spokesperson told CNN on Wednesday.

“Four people in the crowd leaving the stadium revealed inappropriate flags and symbols and threatened security guards,” the spokesperson said. “Victoria Police have intervened and are continuing to question them.

“Everyone’s comfort and safety is our priority and we work closely with security and the authorities.”

Photos taken by Getty Images show a man wearing a T-shirt with the letter ‘Z’ on it while at Rod Laver Arena during Wednesday’s quarter-final match between Russia’s Andrey Rublev and Serbia’s Novak Djokovic .

Tennis Australia did not say whether the man in the photos was one of four people being questioned by police. It is unclear when the man was first seen wearing the shirt. In another photo, the same man is wearing a different shirt.

CNN has a request with Victoria Police for comment

The “Z” symbol is considered a sign of support for Russia, including its invasion of Ukraine. The symbol has been seen on Russian equipment and clothing in Ukraine.

Tennis Australia has previously said fans will not be allowed to bring the Russian or Belarusian flag to the Australian Open venue to enforce its “neutral flag” policy.


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