Azarenka’s tears, Dzyuba’s (alleged) no: sport is also in the trenches

More than a game. Not just a game. Impossible not to see, not to hear the thunder of the winds of war that shake houses, hospitals, bodies. And the souls. Even if you are a professional tennis player and have built a career in which you have won the Australian Open twice, a bronze medal and an Olympic gold medal (in the doubles) , you made three finals at the US Open and you were also the world number one. This is why the tears of Victoria Azarenka, Belarusian, born in Misk as the Wall began to crumble day after day (in July 1989), make the news and give the plastic, visual idea of ​​how the he Russian invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing war reverberates in all of us.

Vika in tears

Bitterly crying, Vika (as she is nicknamed in the tennis circuit), just before serving in the middle of the match with the Kazakh Elena Rybakina (who will then win 6-3, 6-4): the referee comes down from her sits down and offers to comfort her, while cheers of encouragement rain down from the stands. Even before the Californian tournament of Azarenka – who, like her Belarusian and Russian colleagues, can for the moment only compete as a stateless person, given the sporting sanctions in place -, she said she was “destroyed”. by the conflict which sees her Belarus (a country where she has in no way resided for years) alongside Moscow; concept reaffirmed in the post-race press conference, speaking into the microphone and with thick dark glasses to protect the eyes, and never directly referring to the Minsk regime and its descent into the field, but rather to reiterate an instinctive and sincere pacifist a message. In the evening, the Belarusian champion deactivated her social profiles.

The no and the reversal

The tears, those of Azarenka, came on a day when much was discussed around the (alleged) position taken by Artem Dzyuba, suicide bomber of Zenit Saint Petersburg and the Russian national football team (of which he is also captain after being the driver until the quarter-finals of the 2018 home world championship), who would have given up the national team internship scheduled in Moscow from March 21 to 27 (in the week when the team should have faced the challenges of the qualifiers for Qatar2022, from which he was on the contrary excluded by decision of Fifa) precisely because of the implications linked to the conflict in Ukraine, where the footballer would have his relatives.

The news, that of the lack of response to the summons, first confirmed by coach Karpin, then denied by Dzyuba himself (born in 1988, top scorer in the history of the championship and the national team of Moscow), who in recent days had also been the protagonist of a heated exchange of words via social networks with Vitaliy Mykolenko, Ukrainian full-back of Everton, who had accused him of not taking a position on the war. The striker’s answer was ready, and he in turn accused Mykolenko of making easy accusations because of the warmth of his comfortable chair in England.

West Ham United’s Andriy Yarmolenko had also lined up against him, asking him to take a stance on the ongoing dispute. “I am against all war. War is scary. But I am also against human aggression and hatred which every day becomes more and more worrying,” Dzyuba replied on social media. Finally, yesterday, the denial of the refusal to participate in the meeting of the national team, testifying to the tensions that are anything but underground which also cross locker rooms and playgrounds around the world in the face of what is happening in Ukraine.

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