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12 August 2014

ITF Board of Directors decision regarding appeals


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Photo: Paul Zimmer/Martin SidorjakThe Davis Cup trophy

The ITF Board of Directors, at a meeting held on Tuesday, 12 August 2014, considered appeals by the Belgian Tennis Federation and Israel Tennis Association against the decisions of the Davis Cup Committee regarding venues for upcoming ties.

Decision of the ITF Board of Directors regarding Davis Cup venue for Ukraine v Belgium

The ITF Board of Directors has upheld the appeal of the Belgian Tennis Federation against the decision of the Davis Cup Committee to confirm Kiev as the venue for the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group play-off tie between Ukraine and Belgium on 12-14 September. The tie will no longer be played in Ukraine.

The Board noted that the original decision by the Davis Cup Committee had not been unanimous; and that while the recent political unrest had occurred in eastern Ukraine, a disturbance in Kiev’s Independence Square as recently as last Thursday indicated that the security situation there was fluid.

Ukraine now has the option to nominate a neutral venue. As per Davis Cup Regulations 27e (i), (ii) (a), (ii) (b):

If Ukraine chooses to play in a neutral venue, the Ukrainian Tennis Federation has five working days to file a full completed application to the Davis Cup Committee for approval. Ukraine will be considered the home nation for the purposes of the conduct and financial arrangements of this tie and shall have the right to choice of ball and the surface of the court.

If Ukraine does not choose to play in a neutral venue, the Davis Cup Committee has the right to decide that the tie be held on a neutral ground or in Belgium.

If the Committee’s decision is to play on a neutral ground, both nations shall be considered visiting nations for the purposes of the conduct and financial arrangements for this tie. However, Ukraine would lose its turn in the choice of ground rotation. If the Committee decides to play in Belgium, then the Belgian Tennis Federation would be responsible for the conduct and financial arrangements of the tie, including the choice of surface and ball. Ukraine would then have choice of ground for the next two meetings with Belgium.

Decision of the ITF Board of Directors regarding Davis Cup venue for Israel v Argentina

The ITF Board of Directors has rejected the appeal by the Israel Tennis Association and upheld the decision of the Davis Cup Committee for the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group play-off tie between Israel and Argentina on 12-14 September. The Davis Cup Committee ruled that the tie could not be held in Israel, and the Israel Tennis Association has until Thursday 14 August to nominate a neutral venue.

The Board 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.

As per Davis Cup Regulations 27 e (i), (ii) (a), (ii) (b):

If Israel chooses to play in a neutral venue, the Israeli Tennis Association has until Thursday 14 August to file a full completed application to the Davis Cup Committee for approval. Israel will be considered the home nation for the purposes of the conduct and financial arrangements of this tie and shall have the right to choice of ball and the surface of the court.

If Israel does not choose to play in a neutral venue, the Davis Cup Committee has the right to decide that the tie be held on a neutral ground or in Argentina.

If the Committee’s decision is to play on a neutral ground, both nations shall be considered visiting nations for the purposes of the conduct and financial arrangements for this tie. However, Israel would lose its turn in the choice of ground rotation. If the Committee decides to play in Argentina, then the Argentine Tennis Association would be responsible for the conduct and financial arrangements of the tie, including the choice of surface and ball. Israel would then have choice of ground for the next two meetings with Argentina.

Quote from ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti

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 by BNP Paribas. 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.”

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