Serbian footballer Nemanja Matic has come out in defence of compatriot Novak Djokovic and his Adria Tour, saying that he followed the law of the land.
The Adria Tour, organized by the Novak Djokovic Foundation as a charity event, was to be played over four Balkan cities but was cancelled after the second leg in Zadar, Croatia, after four players, including Djokovic, tested positive for Coronavirus.
“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,” the Manchester United midfielder was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
As of now Djokovic, his coach Goran Ivanisevic, Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki have tested positive.
The tournament also featured top players like Dominic Thiem, Marin Cilic, Andrey Rublev and Alexander Zverev.
The tournament allowed spectators in stands and did not follow any social distancing measures. Moreover, players participated in exhibition football and basketball games, and were filmed partying at a club.
“People need to understand that the situation in Serbia was better than here (in England). The country allowed everyone to do whatever they want, everything was open, the shopping centres and the restaurants,” Matic added.
“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)
“When they opened they said, ‘you are more than free to do whatever you want’,” Matic added. “Before that tournament, there was a game with 20,000 people and nobody said anything about that.
Since then, Djokovic, the No 1 player in the world, has apologized for the tournament saying it was done with a ‘pure heart’ and for philanthropic reasons.