The mayor of Madrid and national spokesman for the PP, Jose Luis Martinez-Almeida, affirmed this Tuesday that he does not want "more controversies" in the wake of his words about Novak Djokovic and clarified that for him "any" of the 48 great tennis players would be a "claim" for the Mutua Madrid Open, not just the Serbian, who reproached his "deplorable" attitude in Australia.
The mayor said Monday that it would be a "big claim" Djokovic play at the Mutua Madrid Open, after Serbian tennis player expelled from Australia after losing a legal battle for not being vaccinated to be able to participate in the Opened of the oceanic country.
A day later, asked about his words at the Exceltur Forum, held at Ifema, Almeida pointed out that in the "full cut" of his words from the previous day he says "Djokovic and any of the other 48 players of the great tennis players who are qualified" for the Madrid tournament "would be a claim".
"Me I didn't talk about Novak Djokovic in the singular, I talked about anyone of the great tennis players who are among the top 48 in the world ranking, if the full cut is taken", he underlined, and, secondly, stressed that "this is a decision that corresponds to the Government of the nation".
He is the executive of Pedro Sanchez the one who "decides the conditions of entry and the requirements for access to Spain", Almeida reiterated, adding: "You will not have found in me a word to extol or praise the behavior of Novak Djokovic".
Almeida described as "deplorable" the attitude of the Serbian, who tried "to enter Australia by falsifying a form." "I just said one thing that I think is obvious: that if you enter Spain because the national government authorizes it, will be able to play the Mutua Madrid Tennis Open, at the same time as the rest of the great tennis players, and that he is number one in the world in tennis", he expressed.
"I don't want more controversy nor do I want this to give rise to the interpretations that are being given," he added. "No one can doubt that what I said is that it is up to the Government of the nation to determine the requirements and criteria for access to Spain, not to the Madrid City Council." , he insisted.
To more questions from the journalists, Almeida replied that his position on vaccines is perfectly known because he said it "from the first moment", and defined the vaccination as the "shortest way to beat the pandemic". "No one can say that I neither legitimize the anti-vaccine discourse nor do I advocate denialism," said the mayor, before re-listing the issues that he limited himself to saying on Monday and insisting that in his opinion "it is not an example or a role model" what the Serbian tennis player did in Australia.
Ayuso stands out
On the controversy generated by the statements made on Monday by the mayor of the capital, the president of Madrid, Isabel Diaz Ayuso, avoided supporting Almeida and affirmed that "the rules are there to comply with them". "Each country is sovereign to set its standards," said Ayuso, and stated that he does not share the athlete's vision of vaccines but respects "everyone regardless of what they do."
For her part, the government spokesperson, Elizabeth Rodriguez, assured that what the Serbian tennis player would have to do is get vaccinated and be an example because "an elite athlete has many eyes that look at him." "It is not enough just to be great on the track, but you have to be great in lifeRodriguez emphasized.