Israel has until Thursday to name an alternative venue for its Davis Cup World Group playoff tie against Argentina after the ITF rejected the Israel Tennis Association’s appeal against moving the encounter away from the country.
The ITA requested that the tie either take place in Haifa or be postponed to October after the ITF had ruled two weeks ago that it can’t be held in Tel Aviv due to the security situation.
The tie was scheduled for September 12-14 at Nokia Arena in Tel Aviv, but after its appeal was turned down on Tuesday, the ITA will need to name an alternative venue abroad by Thursday.
Among the ITA ’s possible alternatives are Delray Beach (Florida) and Krakow (Poland).
“This is a massive disappointment,” said ITA CEO Shlomo Glickstein.
“We asked to postpone the final decision by 10 more days so that we would have a chance to host the tie, but they refused.”
According to the ITF’s statement: “The Board of Directors agreed with the Davis Cup Committee that it was the ITF’s duty to ensure the safety of players, officials and spectators, and that there was a lack of certainty as to the security situation in Israel at the date of the tie.”
ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said: “It is always a very difficult decision for the ITF to take away choice of ground in Davis Cup. The competition was founded on the principles of better understanding among nations and we believe it has done a good job in fostering this over 114 years. However, the safety of players, officials and spectators has to take priority and the Board believed that it was not prudent to hold ties in Ukraine or Israel because of political unrest in these countries at the present time and for the foreseeable future.”
The ITF also ruled on Tuesday that the World Group playoff tie between Belgium and Ukraine will not be played in Kiev. The Board upheld the appeal of the Belgian Tennis Federation.