An apparent protester at the Laver Cup, a tennis tournament being held in London, shocked onlookers by rushing onto the court and setting himself on fire.
The incident occurred at London’s O2 Arena, during a match between Greek player Stefanos Tsitsipas and Argentina’s Diego Schwartzmen overnight.
During the changeover after Tsisipas won the first set, 6-2, a man breached the court wearing a T-shirt which read “End UK Private Jets”.
Videos shot by multiple spectators show the man storming onto the court with a lighter in his hand, before he sat down by the net, poured liquid on his right arm, and set fire to it. In the clips, flames can be seen creeping up his arm before he started shaking it an the fire extinguished.
In the meantime, some of the liquid splashed on the court and a small fire developed on the tarmat, prompting a security guard to extinguish the flames with his jacket as the man was dragged off court.
“It came out of nowhere. I have no idea what it’s all about. I never had an incident like this happen on-court, so I hope he’s all right,” said Tsitsipas, who defeated Schwartzman.
The protestor is believed to represent Sacrifice for Survival, a climate emergency protest initiative that previously saw its activists set themselves on fire each day with the aim of stopping flights between locations inside the United Kingdom, The Guardian reports.
The man is not believed to have sustained any serious injuries.
The incident occurred just hours before Roger Federer will play his last-ever competitive tennis match on the court.
The Laver Cup is a men’s tournament featuring teams representing Europe versus the rest of the world. Europe has won all four previous editions of the event.
This year’s tournament is the last Swiss champion Roger Federer will play before retiring from the sport, giving it added significance.
He will team up with Rafael Nadal in a doubles event for the final match of his historic career.
The Laver Cup has showcased numerous players arriving in the UK by private jet, including Federer and Novak Djokovic, during its pre-event promotions.