New Delhi, Jan 25 (IANS) The organisers of the Australian Open have reversed a ban on T-shirts supporting Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai after a global outcry, BBC reported.
Last Friday, security staff had asked spectators to remove T-shirts and a banner saying “Where is Peng Shuai?” before entering the grounds, the report said.
Peng vanished for weeks after accusing a top Chinese official of sexual misconduct in November.
She has since re-appeared, but many remain concerned about her wellbeing.
Craig Tiley, chief executive of Tennis Australia — the organising body behind the Australian Open — told reporters they would now allow spectators to wear the T-shirt as long as they attended without the “intent to disrupt” and were “peaceful”.
“If someone wants to wear a T-shirt and make a statement about Peng Shuai that’s fine,” he was quoted as saying in The Sydney Morning Herald.
But he added that banners would still not be allowed as “it really takes away from the comfort and safety of the fans”, and that security staff would make decisions on a case-by-case basis.
The reversal comes less than 24 hours after Tennis Australia had defended their ban, saying that under their ticket conditions of entry they did not allow “clothing, banners or signs that are commercial or political”.