Novak Djokovic Rome Masters participation doubtful after Italian MPs contradict each other
After being given a boost last week, Novak Djokovic has been dealt a further blow in his bid to compete at the Rome Masters in May as another Italian official has contradicted his peer.
In a candid interview with the BBC, 20-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic revealed he intends to remain unvaccinated even if some of the consequences mean he will miss Slams and other major tournaments.
This comes after he was deported from Australia just one day before the Australian Open got underway and would make him the only unvaccinated player within the ATP top 100.
The Serbian icon has been named on the Indian Wells Masters entry list, but may be refused entry due to the USA’s restrictions on unvaccinated travellers.
Last week, Italian Undersecretary for Sport Valentina Vezzali believed Djokovic would be able to compete at the Rome Masters as the Italian vaccination Green Pass was “not foreseen for tennis.”
However, fellow politician and Undersecretary for Health Andrea Costa contradicted Vezzali and said whilst the specific details of the Green Pass remain unclear, he is against Djokovic’s involvement.
In an interview on Italian radio station Radio 24, Costa said “anyone who has a large following can and must lead by example,” but recognised that “today in Italy the law does not prohibit it (unvaccinated participation at sporting events).
“I am not convinced by the reasons with which Undersecretary [Valentina] Vezzali said that Djokovic will be able to participate in the Internationals of Rome (May 2nd to May 15th), there are rules that must be respected as long as they exist.
“Creating fronts, gates, giving exceptions, we end up giving the wrong messages. a great following, whoever can give us a hand in this work must give a good example all the more reason. So I am against Djokovic’s presence at the Rome Internationals,” Costa expressed.
“The current regulations do not provide for the practice of individual, non-contact and outdoor sports, including tennis, the obligation of the super Green Pass.
“There has never been talk of granting an exemption to tennis player Novak Djokovic, but yes it is only reiterated what the current legislation is.”
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