Sunday, February 15, 2009

Peer denied visa to play in Dubai

Despite assurances that she would be allowed to travel to Dubai to play in the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships, Shahar Peer has been denied a visa. The Israeli player, who made history by playing in Doha last year, learned of the visa denial Saturday night. Peer had been scheduled to play Anna Chakvetadze in the first round.

Sony Ericsson WTA Tour chairman and CEO Larry Scott has issued the following statement:
The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour believes very strongly, and has a clear rule and policy, that no host country should deny a player the right to compete at a tournament for which she has qualified by ranking. The Tour is reviewing appropriate remedies for Ms. Peer and also will review appropriate future actions with regard to the future of the Dubai tournament.

I don't know what that means, but I do know this: A solution would be for tour players to boycott this tournament. I also know this: They won't do it. The players do not stand up to sexism (they seem to have internalized it very well, like the culture at large) or racism or ethnicism or discrimination against LGBT players, so there is no reason to think they will stand up for Peer. I just hope that "appropriate future actions" is not just a turn of phrase.


dearg said...

I have to agree with you Diane.
I can't blame just the suits in the WTA but the players are complicit in any action or inaction that occurs. If you can't stand up once for someone what do you stand for?

Sasha said...

The UAE doesn't let anyone with an Israeli passport into their country. This is because they don't have any diplomatic relations with Israel, and it is not becuase of the recent troubles in the region. This is an event which sadly, the WTA tour does not have the power to let Peer play, because of these rules. If people expect this tournament to be moved, don't, because it has brought in most of the top players even though it isn't mandatory.

Diane said...

That is true, Sasha, but Dubai was willing to make an exception just hours ago.

Herzblut said...


completely agree; and I wonder - would the UAE's action, and the WTA's lack thereof(or so it seems to me) have been different had it been a player who was higher up in the rankings....say, top 5?

Did she play last year, Diane? I can't remember.....

dearg said...

I found this, The Tennis Channel won't televise the Dubai event as a protest.

Diane said...

She did not play in Dubai last year, Claire; she played in Doha, and that was a first.

I will be posting more about the conflict and about Tennis Channel.

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