ITF penalizes Indonesia for Fed Cup no-show in July

The International Tennis Federation has ordered the Indonesian Tennis Association to pay the Israeli Tennis Association $20,000 and banned it from next year's tournament for failing to appear at its July Fed Cup tie against Israel in Tel Aviv. Muslim-dominated Indonesia, which has no diplomatic relations with Israel, had asked that the venue of its World Group II playoff be moved to another country. After being refused, the team decided to not show up for the July 15-16 tie. The Indonesian government in May initially consented for the team to travel to Israel, but instructed it to pull out in protest over Israeli actions in the Gaza Strip, Indonesian foreign ministry officials said in July. "We are witnessing a military invasion by Israel and the arrest of scores of Palestinian officials. It is now impossible to play there," Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Desra Percaya said 11 days before the Fed Cup tie was schedule to begin. The Indonesians are expected to appeal the ruling before the December 20 deadline, Ferry Raturandang, secretary general of the Indonesian TA, said Thursday after being informed of the decision by e-mail. Raturandang said the decision was made over security concerns, and not politically motivated, as alleged by the ITF. Raturandang said Indonesia was told it must pay $5,000 for pulling out of the match; $6,600 to compensate the ITF's spending on preparations, and $20,000 to host Israel. Israel was promoted to the World Group after being awarded the victory following the Indonesians' absence and will play Canada in its first-ever World Group tie in April 2007. The sanction relegates Indonesia to Group II of the Asia/Oceanic Zone in 2008. Indonesia has long supported Palestinian independence and suggestions that ties with the Jewish state be restored are routinely met by large street protests and criticism from religious leaders. AP contributed to this report.