‘People need to understand that the situation in Serbia was better than here’: Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic DEFENDS compatriot Novak Djokovic and his nightmare Adria Tour that saw several people test positive for coronavirus
- Nemanja Matic has defended Novak Djokovic for organising his Adria Tour
- Several people tested positive for coronavirus and the event was cancelled
- World No1 Djokovic was seen partying with other players in a Belgrade nightclub
- The Serbian tested positive as well as his wife, coach and other players
Manchester United star Nemanja Matic has defended his Serbian comptatriot Novak Djokovic for organising his Adria Tour which saw several people test positive for coronavirus.
Social distancing was widely ignored at the event and Djokovic was seen partying with other players in a Belgrade nightclub before he, his wife and coach all tested positive for the virus.
Grigor Dimitrov, who also took part in the competition, announced he had tested positive and Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki also confirmed they had contracted the virus.
Manchester United star Nemanja Matic has defended his Serbian comptatriot Novak Djokovic
Last week, World No1 Djokovic issued a grovelling apology for the ‘harm’ the event caused
Last week, world No1, Djokovic issued a grovelling apology, confirming the rest of the tour had been cancelled and other stars from the game, including Nick Kyrgios, Andy Murray and Dan Evans have spoken out against the decision to hold the tour.
But United midfiedler Matic has risen to the defence of Djokovic for setting up the event.
‘People need to understand that the situation in Serbia was better than here. The country allowed everyone to do whatever they want, everything was open, the shopping centres and the restaurants,’ he told Sky Sports News.
‘So they started to live normal lives because our country was closed for three months completely. You were not allowed to walk on the street, you couldn’t leave your home, so it was different than [England].
Djokovic’s coach Goran Ivanisevic has revealed he has tested positive for coronavirus
Partcicpants Grigor Dimitrov, Viktor Troicki and Borna Coric also all contracted the virus
‘But when they opened they said ‘you are more than free to do whatever you want’. Before that tournament, there was a game with 20,000 people and nobody said anything about that.
‘I just wanted to say that it is not his fault that he made the tournament. He just wanted to help the players play competitions. I don’t see that he [did] something wrong.’
Denver Nuggets basketball star Nikola Jokic, who was pictured hugging Djokovic at a Basketball match in Serbia on June 11, also tested positive but there is no evidence that either man gave the virus to the other.
Djokovic shared his apology on Twitter and said he and his wife would self-isolate for 14 days.
Djokovic and some of his fellow tennis stars partied in a Belgrade nightclub last week, with some of the players taking their shirts off during the riotous evening
‘I am so deeply sorry our tournament has caused harm,’ said Djokovic, who confirmed he did not have symptoms.
‘Everything the organisers and I did the past month, we did with a pure heart and sincere intentions.
‘We believed that the tournament met all health protocols and the health of our region seemed in good condition to finally unite people for philanthropic reasons.
‘If you attended Adria Tour or were around any attendees please get tested and practise social distancing,’ added Djokovic. ‘For those in Belgrade and Zadar, we will be sharing health resources in the immediate future.
‘The rest of the tournament has been cancelled and we will remain focused on all those who have been affected. I pray for everyone’s full recovery.’
Djokovic (left centre) was joined by the likes of Alex Zverev and Dominic Thiem throughout the evening following the completion of the Adria Tour event
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