Andrey Rublev feels politics should be kept out of sport following UK minister’s comments

Shahida Jacobs
Andrey Rublev masked up

There should be “no politics” in sport, according to Andrey Rublev with the world No 7 saying athletes just want to do their jobs.

Rublev and sporting personalities from around the globe – especially the Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian athletes – have constantly had to answer questions about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The 24-year-old previously made it known where he stands when he wrote “No war please” on a camera lens at the Dubai Tennis Championships.

The questions though remain while there are also doubts over Russian players’ participation at Wimbledon this year after the UK Minister of Sport Nigel Huddleston insisted that players might have to denounce President Vladimir Putin if they want to compete at the All England Club this year.

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Under new regulations, players from Russia and Belarus can’t compete under their countries’ flags and names on ATP and WTA Tours, they can only play as individuals.

Speaking to the press after his Indian Wells quarter-final win over Grigor Dimitrov, Ruble said: “Talking about the British government, it’s like I said, I think we should show a great example that tennis should be outside of politics.

“Not tennis, but in general sport. We’re athletes. We want to compete. We were sacrificing so many things.

“We don’t see our family. Many of the athletes, they change home because of the conditions of the sport, they’re doing basketball, football. If you go from one team to another, you move completely, stuff like that.

“I think that’s the most important thing, that we were sacrificing a lot just to be able to compete, to show that we want to do our job, that’s it.

“I think sport should be outside of politics because everyone say this, but in the end looks like still it’s not happening.

“That’s why I hope that in sport they will show there is no politics and we will be a good example to have a huge step forward.”

Before his “No war please” message on the camera, Rublev received a lot of criticism for not saying anything about the Russian invasion, but things changed after that.

“In the beginning, before I wrote this on camera, I was receiving many like bad messages. When everything starts, happen in the world, I start to receive many bad messages,” he explained.

“I don’t know. I didn’t even – how you say? I was not even thinking how many people will see this or where it will go or something. I just wrote what I feel in that moment.

“That’s it. After this, somehow it gets over 22 million views.

“I think I was one of the first sportsmen in the world who say this. In the end, yeah, all the messages I start to receive, almost 100%, all of them were only positive, like, Thank you, stuff like that.”