WTA to consult players after Peer snub
Tuesday 17 February 2009
WTA tour chief executive Larry Scott claims the body could consider pulling out of the Dubai Tennis championships over the United Arab Emirates' refusal to let Israeli players in to the country.
Shahar Peer was denied entry into the UAE to play to take part in this week's tournament.
Scott claims that, although the event will go ahead as planned this year, the woman's professional governing body will not just accept Peer's barring.
And with doubles player Andy Ram, a member of Israel's Davis Cup team, likely to be denied a visa to compete in next week's men's competition, the ATP could also be forced to act.
One possible course of action could be scrapping Dubai from the tennis calendar.
"We don't want (the decision to proceed with the tournament) to be interpreted as complacency and accepting what has happened, because it's not," Scott said in the Guardian.
"We will take a decision about what is to be done only after consultation with the players and tournament directors. We don't have a timetable on this yet. This is a shock and it has to be digested."
Scott added: "I knew there was an issue they would have to get over - that they don't have official relations with Israel, while there are security concerns as well.
"In the last two months we have been in daily contact with them. I am surprised by the decision they took, because of the significant ramifications there has been, not only in the world of professional tennis, but to the sporting agenda, and beyond."
Michael Klein, chairman of the Israeli Tennis Association, called for stern action over UAE's decision to bar Peer
He said: "The sanction has to be so severe that no one will ever attempt to boycott an athlete again."
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