Monday, 16 February 2009

A guide on how to shoot yourself in the foot

Female Israeli tennis player Shahar Peer has been refused entry into the United Arab Emirates. She was scheduled to play Anna Chakvetadze in the first round but will now be on her way home. Although the border control have not given any reason, it is pretty obvious that it is because she is an Israeli citizen and the U.A.E do not recognise Israel.

The whole situation is so ridiculous in the extreme that it seems surreal. Dubai and other Middle Eastern countries have been so desperately trying to attract sports such as tennis and formula one that they have been prepared to pay way over the odds. It is therefore astonishing that they would throw that all away by not ensuring that all the players would be allowed into the country!

The incompetence of all involved is breathtaking. The organisers of the tournament knew when they made the draw that Peer would be playing. They also must have known that she was Israeli yet could not make sure she was allowed into the country!

It looks likely because of this that the event will be dropped from next year's WTA Tour. It will be interesting to see how the mens' tour responds to these events.

On a better note, well done Andy Murray for winning Rotterdam. What a shame he could not have won in Melbourne instead!

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