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


Four people participating in the Australian Open were questioned by Victoria Police after they “displayed inappropriate flags and symbols and threatened security guards,” a Tennis Australia spokesman told CNN on Wednesday.

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

“Comfort and safety for everyone is our priority and we work closely with security and 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 images is one of the four people being questioned by police. It was unclear when the man was first seen wearing the shirt. In another photo, the same man is seen wearing a different shirt.

CNN has a request to Victoria Police for comment

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

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

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