Sports Outside the Beltway

WTA given written assurance of Shahar Peer getting a visa to play in Dubai

In 2009, the UAE only gave verbal promises to the Israeli tennis player which they later tried to renege on. From AP-

The United Arab Emirates assured the WTA in writing it will allow Israeli tennis player Shahar Peer to play at next month’s Dubai tournament after barring her last year.

Peer had been denied a visa apparently because of anti-Israel sentiments in the Gulf state following a three-week war between Israel and Islamic militants in Gaza. The UAE does not have diplomatic relations with Israel.

The Dubai Tennis Championships start Feb. 15, and the WTA said Wednesday it received word from the UAE Ministry of Interior that Peer may compete.

The tournament was fined $300,000 last year and told to meet certain requirements – one of them written confirmation about Peer.

Should the UAE renege on their written promise, the Dubai event should be canceled and no WTA event again scheduled for that country. The host country of a open sporting event shouldn’t be able to determine who can and can’t participate.

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