March 02, 2006

Include them out?: The first question in Jon Wertheim's Tennis Mailbag this week deals with Andre Agassi's (brief) appearance in Dubai for their payola-driven event. In his reply, he notes that he was apprised by a reader that Dubai's tourism website states "Nationals of 'Israel' may not enter the U.A.E." What if an Israeli tour player qualifies for this event? (more inside)

posted by Uncle Toby to tennis at 12:31 PM - 6 comments

Wertheim says that tour officials told him no player would be excluded on this basis. Is that good enough? He calls their "situational ethics" into question, citing the fact that Dubai is a major sponsor of the tour. Are there other major sporting events that face this kind of situation?

posted by Uncle Toby at 12:35 PM on March 02, 2006

Well, a lot of international events tend to tread on political issues. Last Olympics, I believe, an Iranian martial artist refused to compete against an Israeli -- and hence lost the tournament. It's idiotic. Godwin invocation: even Hitler allowed Owens into Germany to compete.

posted by mkn at 01:20 PM on March 02, 2006

All hate is stupid.

posted by budpatient at 01:29 PM on March 02, 2006

This past Olympics had barely started when commentators started commenting on how the People's Republic of China (hosting the next summer games) will react to the possible particpation of their break-away province known to the rest of us as Taiwan.

posted by irunfromclones at 02:28 PM on March 02, 2006

International tennis always seems to avoid or get around these things. During the apartheid era they happily ignored the Gleneagles agreement, justifying it on the basis that players were individuals and not representatives of their countries. Although this didn't stop them flying the old South African flag at events. I don't expect they'd get away with the Israeli flag in Dubai, though!

posted by owlhouse at 03:24 PM on March 02, 2006

On a slightly tangential note, I read last week that Indonesia's leading female player patnered an Israeli in a doubles tournament in India. The Indonesian press mentioned it but didn't make big deal of it, and it didn't seem to cause any backlash for her.

posted by owlhouse at 03:27 PM on March 02, 2006

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