Australia’s police force in the state of Victoria is using Greek-speaking officers to monitor the chants of fans at the Australian Open.
A warning has also been issued to disruptive and antisocial tennis supporters, according to a report in The Age.
The bilingual police have been deployed to listen to chants from rowdy fans in matches involving Greek world No.6 Stefanos Tsitsipas and his compatriot Maria Sakkari.
Up to 20 Greek supporters were ejected from Melbourne Park on Wednesday evening for disruptive behavior after Sakkari’s match.
Fans also became rowdy during Tsitsipas’ match against Salvatore Caruso in the first round of the Australian Open.
“I really like they come and support me because that gives me a lot of positives in my game (but) I don’t really know why they want to go the extra mile some of the time,” Tsitsipas said after the Caruso match, adding that “I think also, from their side, they should be a little bit more respectful to the opponents.”
Acting commander Darren Franks, who is in charge of policing at the Australian Open, said that police were monitoring for criminally offensive language or behaviour.
“We are lucky to have many officers born overseas and who also speak another language, and we are using those officers,” he said.
“We have Greek-speaking officers and we have been using them for that scenario.”
“We are working with Australian Open organisers around some early interjection work with security at the Open,” he said. “As soon as we see any antisocial or disruptive behavior we will act.”
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