May 19, 2009

Shahar Peer Update: Dubai Agrees to Pay $300K Fine

Back in February, I posted about the United Arab Emirates' denial of a visa to Israeli tennis pro Shahar Peer. Apparently, the UAE has reached an agreement with the WTA and will pay a huge fine for their actions:
Dubai agrees to pay $300K fine for visa refusal

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- The Dubai Tennis Championships will pay a record $300,000 fine for the United Arab Emirates' refusal to grant a visa to Israeli player Shahar Peer.

Tournament director Salah Tahlak says he and fellow organizers agreed Sunday to pay the penalties imposed by the WTA Tour board, which rejected Dubai's appeal last week.

The UAE turned down Peer's visa request just before her planned arrival for the tournament in February.

The tour is also demanding that Dubai organizers confirm that qualifying Israeli players will get visas at least eight weeks in advance for the 2010 event.

Tahlak says he hopes all players can take part, but notes that organizers do not have full control over government

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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Its great that the Tournament Director realizes this may be the only way to keep this tournament in Dubai. The unfortunate part is that last sentence - recognizing that tournament organizers do not have full control over what the government chooses to do to foreign players.

© Kim Selzman 2009
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