Published On: Thu, Sep 14th, 2023
Sports | 4,679 views

English snooker star who is ‘a quarter Ukrainian’ was banned from wearing Ukraine flag | Other | Sport

English snooker star Jack Lisowski was barred from sporting a Ukraine flag on his waistcoat during the 2022 World Championship. Lisowski is a ‘quarter Ukrainian’ due to his grandfather and wanted to support the country due to the invasion of Russian president Vladimir Putin.

At the time, Lisowski claimed he wanted to wear a pin badge on his waistcoat. He felt that it was the right thing to do to show his support to the people of Ukraine.

However, World Snooker Championship organisers banned him from doing so. They took a hardline ‘no politics’ rule and would not allow support for Ukraine to be displayed.

Lisowski was gobsmacked by the decision. He later went on to claim that he would wave a Ukraine flag in the Crucible Theatre if he beat 2010 world champion Neil Robertson in his next match.

He did indeed beat Robertson but it is unclear if he was allowed to display the Ukrainian flag after the match. Lisowski said at the time: “Everyone in this room would agree you’re supporting Ukraine so why the hell can’t I wear it?

“It’s something that is close to my heart. My grandad is Ukrainian, my dad has been out there. It is very sad with what is going on over there.

“I tried to wear it [in Sheffield] and they told me I couldn’t unless I was Ukrainian. I’ve got some Ukrainian in me, but it wasn’t enough so I got the badge taken off my waistcoat.”

The now-32-year-old added: “I played with it on for a few tournaments. I want to wear it but I wasn’t allowed [to]. I am trying to get a flag. If I beat Robertson I will be waving the flag in the arena.”

The World Snooker Championship later clarified its stance. It said that it was against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine but sought to take a position of political neutrality.

“As an international sport we have always adopted a policy of political neutrality, and to that end, our policy is to not allow our sport to be used as a political platform at the World Championship,” a statement responding to Lisowski read.

“We are strongly against the invasion of any sovereign nation and all forms of violence or oppression. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people who are suffering as a result of the current conflict in Ukraine.”

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