Israel's Ram given Dubai visa
Thursday 19 February 2009
The United Arab Emirates confirmed it would let Israel's Andy Ram play in next week's men's Dubai Tennis Championships, the state news agency WAM said today.
A UAE foreign ministry official was quoted as saying the doubles specialist would be given "special permission" to take part in the tournament.
Top Israeli player Shahar Peer had to forfeit her place in this week's women's tournament in Dubai after the UAE blocked her visa application.
The UAE, like most Arab countries, has no diplomatic ties with Israel and routinely denies entry to Israelis.
Tensions have been heightened after the three-week Israeli offensive against the Gaza Strip, which killed 1,300 Palestinians and 14 Israelis. Although the conflict ended in January it caused deep anger around the Arab and Muslim worlds.
After players, officials, Jewish leaders and even some sponsors condemned the UAE for excluding Peer, pressure had been mounting on the men's ATP tournament to be cancelled if Ram had also been denied entry.
Before Ram's entry had been confirmed, Women's Tennis Association chief Larry Scott told Reuters: "I would be very pleased that if as a result of this awful situation some good could possibly come out of it, where that is a revision to the decision of their (UAE's) policy.
"I've always believed that sport should be separate from politics and political intervention.
"If that (Ram being granted a visa) winds up being the outcome, then that would be a very positive thing."
What time is the 2015 WWE Royal Rumble on? And full match card
Cristiano Ronaldo vine: Real Madrid forward sent-off for kicking and striking opponent during 2-1 win over Cordoba
Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
Arsenal transfer news and rumours: Gabriel Paulista fee agreed as Gunners make £13.5m bid to sign Villarreal defender - reports
Adrian Chiles leaves ITV: Football host joins exodus with immediate effect following Andy Townsend and Matt Smith announcement
- 1 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 4 Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
- 5 This crazy skiing video will leave you feeling queasy
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens