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UAE agrees to issue visa to Ram


 

Originally published on: 26/02/10 15:26

The ATP Executive Chairman & President Adam Helfant confirmed on Thursday that Israeli Andy Ram will be issued a visa to enter the UAE ahead of next weeks Barclays Dubai Championships.

‘The United Arab Emirates (UAE) government has made the right decision’ – Helfant

There had been massive speculation surrounding whether the world doubles No.11 would be allowed into the country after Shahar Peer was denied a visa for the Sony Ericcson WTA Tour event taking place in the emirate this week.

But after long negotiations between the ATP World Tour, the UAE government and tournament officials Ram was given the news he was waiting for.

“I am pleased that the efforts to secure Andy Ram’s visa to compete in the ATP World Tour 500 event in Dubai next week have been successful, Helfant said in a statement.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) government has made the right decision in allowing Andy Ram to enter their country and compete in next week’s Dubai Tennis Championships.

No player, who qualifies to play an ATP World Tour event, should be denied their right to compete on the basis of ethnicity, nationality or religion and we are happy that the Dubai Tennis Championships and the UAE have shown that they share that view.”

The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the WTA Tour Larry Scott added his support on hearing the news.

We welcome the change of the UAE policy which will allow Andy Ram to play this week in Dubai and which clarifies that all Israeli athletes will be able to compete in future tournaments in UAE.

Shahar Peer is owed all of our thanks for her courage in challenging an unjust policy and for forcing action to be taken that resulted in todays announcement.

We thank all of the many organisations and individuals that rallied behind Shahar and pressed the UAE to change their discriminatory stance.

It is deeply regrettable that Shahar had to suffer the negative consequences of the UAE decision this past week in order for this policy to get turned around for the benefit of others.

What happened to Shahar last week was discriminatory, reprehensible and unacceptable, and the Tour will shortly be determining remedies for her, penalties to be imposed on the tournament, and the additional assurances we will require to guarantee all Israeli athletes entry to the UAE so that future tournaments in the UAE may take place.

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