The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has told Israel that it will not be able to stage its upcoming Davis Cup play-off against Argentina in Tel Aviv due to safety concerns.
Israel has been given until next Thursday to nominate an alternative venue to host the men’s tie, which is scheduled to take place from September 12-14. A spokesperson for the Israeli Tennis Association told the Reuters news agency that venues were being considered in Eastern Europe, the US and Canada.
The ITF, which has been monitoring the predicament in the Gaza Strip, said that “while the military conflict seemed to be slowing down, there was no certainty that this would be the case at the time of the tie that is due to take place in five weeks”. The Davis Cup committee said that it “felt that its first priority was to ensure the safety of the players, officials and the public, and regretfully decided that the tie would not be held in Israel as originally scheduled.”
Earlier this week, the inaugural Israel Open men’s tennis tournament was cancelled by the ATP World Tour, which operates the event, due to the ongoing conflict. The ATP World Tour 250 event was due to take place from September 15-21 in Tel Aviv. It would have been the first high-profile men’s tournament to be held in Israel since 1996.
Football’s European governing body Uefa and Fina, the international aquatics federation, have also barred events from taking place in Israel since the fighting began.