The ITF Board of Directors has rejected the appeal by the Israel Tennis Association and ruled their upcoming World Group play-off tie against Argentina can not be held in Israel on safety grounds.
The Davis Cup Committee ruled last week that the tie, scheduled for 12-14 September, couldn’t be held in Israel due to the current security situation, and while the Israel Tennis Association appealed the decision, the ITF confirmed on Tuesday their agreement with the initial ruling, saying that it was their 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.
The ITA now has until Thursday 14 August to nominate a neutral venue, before which they need 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 so, both countries 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.
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.”