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Tunisia's Malek Jaziri. Ordered to default match against Israel's Amit Weintraub Photo: Getty Images
Tunisia's Malek Jaziri. Ordered to default match against Israel's Amit Weintraub Photo: Getty Images
 
 

Tennis: Tunisia banned after Israel boycott

North African country suspended from international Davis Cup competition after ordering its No. 1 player not to play against Israeli in Tashkent tournament

Reuters
Published: 11.03.13, 07:50 / Israel Culture

Tunisia has been suspended from the 2014 Davis Cup competition after the country's tennis federation ordered its No. 1 player not to play against an Israeli.

 

Malek Jaziri withdrew from the second tier Tashkent Challenger tournament last month before his match against Israel's Amir Weintraub. Jaziri's brother told reporters the 215th ranked player had been ordered to default the match.

 

Political Tennis
Tunisian 'shocked' by order to shun Israeli  / AFP
Brother, manager of Tunisian tennis star Malek Jaziri slams pressure to boycott match with Israel's Amir Weintraub from authorities back home. 'It brings politics into sports. We are totally against that'
Full story

The governing body of men's tennis, ATP, cleared the player of wrongdoing but the International Tennis Federation (ITF) decided to impose the ban.

 

"The ITF Board of Directors found that the Tunisian Tennis Federation was in breach of the ITF Constitution by interfering with international sporting practice and ordering Tunisian player Malek Jaziri not to compete against Israeli player Amir Weintraub at the 2013 Tashkent Challenger in October," the ITF said in a statement on Saturday.

 

"The Board was not satisfied with the case put forward by the Tunisian Tennis Federation and voted to suspend Tunisia from the 2014 Davis Cup competition."

 

'This kind of action will not be tolerated'

ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti added, "There is no room for prejudice of any kind in sport or in society. The ITF Board decided to send a strong message to the Tunisian Tennis Federation that this kind of action will not be tolerated by any of our members."

 

Tunisia was relegated from Europe/Africa Zone Group II this season.

 

Israel and Tunisia do not have any diplomatic ties and limited relations were severed in 2000 by the Tunisians following the outbreak of Israeli-Palestinian hostilities in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

 

"We think this was the correct decision that makes clear that politics has no place in sport and we hope that (Tunisia) will heed the lesson and will return to the Davis Cup next year," Israel's Tennis Association chairman Assi Tuchmayr said.

 

Israeli-Tunisian tennis rivalries could face a further test next year when both nations will compete in the Fed Cup in Budapest in February.

 

 

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