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WTA put peer pressure on Dubai

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:18

The tournament will go ahead as scheduled this week, but without world number 48 Peer, 21, who had been scheduled to meet Anna Chakvetadze in the first round.

Larry Scott, the WTA’s chairman and chief executive, said: “We are deeply disappointed by the decision of the United Arab Emirates denying Shahar Peer a visa that would permit her to enter the country to play in the Dubai Tennis Championships.”

He added: “Ms Peer has earned the right to play in the tournament and it is regrettable that the UAE is denying her this right.

“Following various consultations, the Tour has decided to allow the tournament to continue to be played this week, pending further review by the Tour’s board of directors.”

Tensions are running high between Israel and the Arab nations following the offensive against Palestinian territories this year, in which over 1,000 are thought to have died.

Scott added: “Ms Peer and her family are obviously extremely upset and disappointed by the decision of the UAE and its impact on her personally and professionally, and 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.

“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.”

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