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April 6, 2009
ITF hits Sweden for banning public from Israeli player's match
The International Tennis Federation could teach the UN a few lessons about decency, basic human rights, and how to say no to violations.
Last month, more concerned about a violent reaction from their Muslim population than basic decency, Sweden reluctantly granted a visa to an Israeli tennis player for a Davis Cup game to be played in Malmo, their third largest city. However, because Malmo's population is about 1/3 Muslim with extensive "no go" police neighborhoods (Swedish police are terrified of patrolling certain sections because of the violence directed at them) Swedish officials strictly limited attendance at the match to necessary officials, and a few spectators. "Safety," the Swedes solemnly proclaimed, succumbing to mob rule.
This week the International Tennis Federation hit back, announcing
on Thursday that it has fined the Swedish Tennis Federation $25,000 and banned the city of Malmo from hosting Davis Cup matches for five years.
The federation also said in a statement that Sweden would have to pay an additional $15,000, which it would have received in gate receipts had the March 6-8 match been open to spectators.
In addition, the federation told Sweden it would have to provide a written guarantee that future matches would be open to the public.
Does Sweden have the guts to do that or will they revert to their World War ll behavior of neutrality while profiting from terror? While past--and present--behavior is not necessarily predictive of future behavior it is indicative so my bet is on the latter.