An apparent protester at the Laver Cup, a tennis tournament held in London, shocked spectators by rushing onto the pitch and setting himself on fire.
The incident happened at the O2 Arena in London, during a match between Greek player Stefanos Tsitsipas and Argentinian Diego Schwartzmen overnight.
During the substitution after Tsisipas had won the first set, 6-2, a man burst onto the court wearing a t-shirt that read ‘End UK Private Jets’.
Videos shot by several spectators show the man bursting onto the pitch with a lighter in his hand, before sitting down by the net, pouring liquid on his right arm and setting it on fire. In the clips, flames can be seen crawling up his arm before he starts shaking it and the fire goes out.
Meanwhile, some of the liquid splashed onto the pitch and a small fire developed on the tarmat, prompting a security guard to douse the flames with his jacket as the man was dragged off the pitch.
“He came out of nowhere. I have no idea what it is. I’ve never had an incident like this on the pitch, so hopefully he’s okay,” he said. said Tsitsipas, who beat Schwartzman.
The protester is believed to represent Sacrifice for Survival, a climate emergency protest initiative that previously saw its activists set themselves on fire every day in a bid to stop flights between locations inside the UK United, The Guardian reports
The man does not appear to have sustained serious injuries.
The incident happened just hours before Roger Federer played his very last competitive tennis match on the court.
The Laver Cup is a men’s tournament featuring teams representing Europe against the rest of the world. Europe has won the four previous editions of the event.
This year’s tournament is the last Swiss champion that Roger Federer will play before retiring from the sport, giving it added importance.
He will team up with Rafael Nadal in a doubles event for the final match of his historic career.
The Laver Cup featured many players arriving in the UK by private jet, including Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, during its pre-event promotions.
Originally published as Laver Cup protester attempts to set himself on fire