Potapova’s public appearance wearing the colors of one of Russia’s best football teams highlights yet another tricky issue Wimbledon will have to negotiate this summer.
Potapova said she had supported the team since she was a child and saw no problem in what she had done, but it sparked outrage in some corners, not least with Poland’s Iga Swiatek, who has been a vocal supporter of Ukraine throughout the war.
“I was surprised as I thought she realised that she should not, even if she is a fan of the team, show her views at such times.
I talked to the WTA and I found out that these situations will probably be less, as they will explain to players that it is not allowed to promote any Russian teams now, which reassured me a little bit. On the other hand, I think the message should have been sent much earlier,” Swiatek told Przeglad Sportowy, as revealed by Diego Barbiani.
Potapova said she is fan of Spartak Moscow since 2017 yet couldn’t name a single player from the team.
On the same day, Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko claimed WTA CEO Steve Simon told her she should not be upset if there were Russian and Belarusian players supporting their governments.
“A few days ago I had a conversation with our WTA CEO Steve Simon and I was absolutely shocked by what I heard. He told me that he himself does not support the war, but if the players from Russia and Belarus support it, then this is only their own opinion, and the opinion of other people should not upset me.
At the same time, he noted that if this happened to him and he was in my place, he would feel terrible,” Tsurenko told BTU.
YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvXYd3ZqNfE