In the continuing saga of Dubai's blatant discriminatory treatment of Jewish athletes, comes word that the emirate is going to grant a visa to Israeli Andy Ram allowing him to play in next week's ATP Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships. Apparently, following US pressure and a realization that perhaps they made a public relations blunder, Dubai officials have changed their mind. It may also be an attempt to salvage both tennis tournaments, as there are serious moves afoot to remove the WTA event from the next year's calendar.
In related news, the Sweden-Israel Davis Cup match to be played March6-8, in Malmo, Sweden, will be played before an empty stadium. The Malmo recreational committee, citing security concerns, decided to ban spectators from the stadium. The International Tennis Federation, in a typically feckless statement, reacted to the ban: "“very unfortunate” and “not in the long-term interests of the Davis Cup," but took no action. The ITF deferred to the local authhority. Again, imagine the outcry, if this had been done in Israel.
Cross-posted with SportsBiz - The Business of Sports Illuminated