The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has followed the example of the ATP and removed an Israeli venue from the upcoming Davis Cup round due to the dangerous military situation in the Middle East.
The Thursday decision taken during a two-hour meeting means that the venue for the September Davis Cup match with Argentina, scheduled to be played in Israel, must be changed due to the military tensions between Israel and Hamas.
Sources told dpa that the decision came after a unanimous vote from the sanctioning body. "The vote was unanimous, but Israel has the right to appeal," a source familiar with the decision taken by the Davis Cup Committee told dpa.
Israel has five days to propose a neutral venue for the match for reclassification to the World Group to be held September 12-14. If the situation is not somehow resolved the tie would move to Argentina. The Davis Cup Committee, chaired by the Spaniard Juan Margets, is composed of seven members. The discussion was based on the report submitted to the ITF by Control Risks Group, a British firm that advises some of the largest companies and organizations in the world about how to proceed in conflict zones.
"These were difficult decisions for the Davis Cup Committee," said Margets. "Both countries were eager to host and have a record of staging quality ties. "The decision on Israel versus Argentina was problematic for the Committee because the situation in Israel is very fluid at the moment and yet security in Israel is of an exceptionally high standard. "Ultimately the outcome rested on the lack of certainty of the situation at the date of the tie, on the decision of other sports not to compete in Israel at this time and on the ITF's duty to ensure the safety of players, officials and spectators."
The ATP had previously announced the suspension of the tournament in Tel Aviv, to be played September 15-21. The Jerusalem Post reported that neutral venue options to the Israel Tennis Association (ITA) include New York and Delray Beach in the United States, Krakow in Poland and Tallinn in Estonia.
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