PARIS, June 9 (Reuters) - Four protesters, one letting off a flare, briefly interrupted the French Open tennis final between Rafa Nadal and fellow Spaniard David Ferrer on Sunday.
Two bare-chested protesters stood up in one of the front rows behind the players’ benches on court Philippe Chatrier at the end of the sixth game of the second set and one let off a flare.
The protester with the flare, wearing a white face mask, jumped over the tramline, ran on the court close to where Nadal was standing and was brought down by a member of security staff before being dragged out with his accomplice.
“The situation is under control. It is in the hands of the police,” Christophe Fagniez, tournament director of operations, told reporters.
Earlier, two other protesters had been pulled out of the higher rows of the stands by security after showing a banner saying ‘Help! France tramples on children’s rights’.
Six other protesters, also bare chested and brandishing flares, got to the top row of the neighbouring Court Suzanne Lenglen unfolding a banner saying ‘HOLLANDE DEMISSION’ (Hollande resignation’) before being bundled out by security.
Last month, French president Francois Hollande signed into law a bill allowing same-sex marriage amid a series of huge, and sometimes violent, demonstrations from many conservatives in France.
The first same-sex marriage was celebrated in Montpellier on May 29. (Additional reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Pritha Sarkar)