Why was Anastasia Potapova warned by WTA – Shirt controversy explained


Here’s everything you need to know about the controversy related to Russian tennis star Anastasia Potapova and why was she warned

Russian tennis player Anastasia Potapova has been handed an official warning by the WTA for wearing a T-shirt from Russian football club Spartak Moscow at the Indian Wells Masters. Potapova was spotted wearing the outfit during her Round of 32 clashes against Jessica Pegula. Potapova eventually lost the match to No.3 seed Pegula 6-3, 4-6, 5-7.

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Anastasia Potapova

In an official statement, the WTA announced: “Regarding the Russian soccer team shirt, the WTA has formally warned the player that this was not acceptable nor an appropriate action. We do not expect to see any reoccurrence of this in the future.”

Although Potapova might not have any intentions of breaking any rules, her action is being viewed as an act of support of her country’s invasion of Ukraine. The 21-year-old has been widely criticised for the same by fans across the globe and fellow players including World No.1 Iga Swiatek.

Fans react to the ban on Anastasia Potapova by the WTA

Let’s take a look at some of the reactions from fans on social media.

“Next month, ATP and WTA will announce all players from Russia and Belarus not to speak their own language . I don’t support Russia attacking Ukraine. But don’t support banning or controlling Russia and Belarus players over what team they support or wearing jersey”, wrote a fan.

“This doesn’t solve anything abt the war. Russian players just suffering what their President is doing”, tweeted another fan.

“Just ban all of the Russians and Belarusians until the war is over. They can play amongst themselves in the meantime”, read a tweet.

“Disgusting. She can’t wear a jersey of her favorite football club. What is next? Are we gonna start treating all expatriate Russians as Japs were treated during the WW2??” – commented another fan.

Another fan wrote: “Classic case of institutional xenophobia. Has no place in sport. Especially not in governing bodies. That’s the story here.”

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