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Jack Lisowski denied Ukraine flag support: “It doesn’t make sense to me”

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Lisowski is baffled by the decision (PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo)

Jack Lisowski has slammed the WST after they refused him the opportunity to wear the Ukraine flag on his waistcoat in support of the war-torn nation.

The world number 14 has Ukrainian heritage, with his grandfather hailing from the Eastern European country.

Since the invasion by Russia in February, Lisowski subsequently wore a Ukraine badge on his waistcoat during the events in which he played.

The six-time ranking event finalist was set to follow suit for his first-round clash against Matthew Stevens at the Crucible, which he eventually won 10-8.

But Lisowski revealed he was prevented from doing so by the governing body for “political” reasons – a decision that left him completely baffled.

“They didn’t let me wear [the flag] this tournament,” the left-hander explained.

“I played two or three tournaments with it on. I want to wear it but I’m not allowed, and I don’t know why.

“I tried to wear it and they said ‘you can’t wear it unless you’re Ukrainian.’

“I’ve got some Ukrainian in me, but that wasn’t enough, so I got my badge taken off my waistcoat.

“This was before the first round. The logo was on; it doesn’t make sense to me.

“It’s something that’s close to my heart. It’s very, very sad what’s going on.”

A WST statement read: “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.

“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.”

Lisowski faces tournament favourite Neil Robertson in the second round in Sheffield, with their best-of-25 clash commencing on Saturday.


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