Security situation continues to cost local sports

National basketball team and ATP Tour tournament organizers bracing themselves for Monday’s rulings.

August 3, 2014 23:18
2 minute read.
The Ramat Hasharon center court.

The Ramat Hasharon center court will likely have to wait at least one more year until it finally hosts an ATP Tour event for the first time since 1996, with the ATP to announce today if the tournament scheduled for next month will be canceled due to the security situation in Israel.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Israeli sport is set to suffer further blows on Monday due to the ongoing rocket fire from Gaza.

The ATP is expected to announce on Monday its decision regarding next month’s tournament scheduled to be held at the Ramat Hasharon Tennis Center, while FIBA Europe will rule regarding the Israel national team’s final two EuroBasket qualifiers.

Ramat Hasharon is meant to host an ATP World Tour 250 event between September 15 and 21. Israel hosted an ATP Tour event for 10 straight years between 1987 and 1996, but hasn’t since. The tournament is set to offer $1 million in prize money and the organizers were hoping to attract several big names.

However, with the rocket fire towards central Israel continuing on Sunday, the ATP seems set to cancel the tournament, although the organizers will be hoping that the ATP might agree to postpone its final decision once more in the hope that the security situation will improve in the coming weeks.

The ATP tournament in Ramat Hasharon is scheduled to start the day after the third and final day of Israel’s Davis Cup World Group playoff tie against Argentina at Nokia Arena in Tel Aviv .

The Israel Tennis Association was asked to provide the International Tennis Federation with an alternative venue by Tuesday, with the ITF to make its final decision on August 11.

The Israel Basketball Association was told last week by FIBA Europe that it will have to host its first Euro- Basket qualifier against Montenegro away from the country and it is bracing itself for further bad news on Monday.

Israel will face Montenegro in Nicosia next Sunday and will likely be told on Monday to host all of its home qualifiers in Cyprus. FIBA Europe had notified the IBA that should the situation in the country not improve by Monday, it will also be unable to play against the Netherlands (August 24) and Bulgaria (August 27) in Tel Aviv.

Meanwhile, the Israel Swimming Association breathed a huge sigh of relief on Sunday after LEN, the governing body of European swimming, kept the 2015 European Short Course Swimming Championships at the Wingate Institute in Netanya.

LEN notified the ISA on Sunday that the championships will be postponed by 11 months to December 2-6 as they were previously set to take place only one month after the World Short Course Championships.

LEN’s decision means that the European Short Course Swimming Championships will be held only once every two years instead of every year.

The ISA had feared that LEN would take advantage of the opportunity and also move the event away from Israel due to the security situation.

However, LEN chose to keep the championships in Israel, which will stage a large-scale swimming event for the first time, with around 600 swimmers from across Europe to descend on Netanya.

Elsewhere, the first round of Israeli soccer’s Toto Cup is set to go ahead as planned this coming weekend after being postponed by a week due to the rocket barrages from Gaza. Following the postponement, all the teams will play three group matches within a week as they continue their preparation for the start of the Premier League season on August 23.

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