On Wednesday, the World Women's Tennis Federation took action in the case of the missing tennis player Peng Shuai: no more tournaments in China. Beijing countered on Thursday that it was an unnecessary politicization of sport.
The case of the missing tennis player Peng Shuai goes into the next Round.
The decision of WTA boss Steve Simon not to hold tournaments in China for the time being has been criticized in Beijing.
« Global Times News »- Editor-in-Chief Hu Xijin:« You deny Peng Shuai the right to freedom of expression. »
is aboutThe case of the missing tennis player Peng Shuai (35) does not end.
In response, WTA China is withdrawing the right to host all WTA tournaments.
In doing so, the WTA would deny Peng Shuai's freedom of expression, China responded on Thursday.
“The WTA is forcing Peng Shuai to support the West's attack on the Chinese system,” Hu Xijin, known for his pithy words, opens his tweet. The editor-in-chief of the Chinese state newspaper “Global Times News” is reacting to the decision of the WTA to withdraw the right to organize the tournaments from China until further notice. Hu Xjin continues: “They deny Peng Shuai the right to freedom of expression and demand that their description of their current situation must correspond to their expectations.”
WTA takes hold
The background: Due to the situation around tennis player Peng Shuai, the WTA women's tennis tour has suspended all tournaments in China and Hong Kong. This was announced by WTA boss Steve Simon on Wednesday. “I don't see with a clear conscience how we can ask our athletes to compete there if Peng Shuai is not allowed to communicate freely,” said the WTA boss in a statement on Wednesday. Peng Shuai is apparently being pressured to back up her allegations of sexual assault. «I am very sorry that it has come to this», said Simon.
Beijing against «politicization of sport»
Also the «Global Times News »Himself commented on Thursday morning with a tweet in which Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin (50) was quoted:« China has always spoken out decisively against the politicization of sport. »
IOC meets Peng Shuai in January
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is clearly against the politicization of sport. Due to the increasing public pressure surrounding the disappearance of Peng Shuai, the umbrella organization of the sports world became active a good two weeks ago: IOC President Thomas Bach asked for a sign of life from the tennis player in China and was finally allowed to join a half-hour video call exchange with Shuai. This has been widely criticized and dismissed as naive. There were calls for the IOC to take a tougher course on China. “We are specifically choosing the path of calm diplomacy,” the German defended his approach on Thursday. Experience has shown that this approach has proven to be effective in humanitarian matters, says Bach.
The 67-year-old confirms that a team of IOC employees was able to hold a second video conference with Peng Shuai on Wednesday, with the Chinese woman being offered extensive support. «We are in regular contact with her and have arranged a personal meeting in January», promises Bach.
Djokovic supports WTA
Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic ( 34) positive about the WTA withdrawal from China: “I fully support the WTA's stance because we do not have enough information about Peng Shuai and her welfare,” said the men's world number 1 on the sidelines of the Davis Cup in Madrid . Peng Shuai's health is of the greatest importance for the tennis world, according to the Serb.
The WTA has not yet commented on the statements from Beijing. Not even when Hu Xijin asked to comment on his tweet.
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