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."
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: The biggest fight of all time, or maybe just the most lucrative?
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao start?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does it start and where can I watch it?
Sir Alex Ferguson reveals who he thinks is better between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi
- 2 Why this father didn’t hide his daughter’s heroin overdose in her obituary
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 The most powerful passports in the world
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove