Tunisia has been suspended from the 2014 Davis Cup tennis tournament, one of the most important tournaments in men’s tennis, after one of its team members was ordered not to compete against an Israeli opponent last month.
Malek Jaziri, his country’s highest-ranked player at #215 in the world, withdrew from a match against Israel’s Amir Weintraub at the 2013 Tashkent Challenger in October citing a knee injury.
But Jaziri’s brother Amir, who also happens to be his coach, told AFP that he pulled out under orders from the Tunisian Tennis Federation not to play an Israeli. An email ordering Jaziri to pull out of the match was published by Tunisia’s state news agency. Tunisian sports ministry spokesman Sadok Touati confirmed that the federation sent the email after consulting the ministry.
In light of the revelation, The International Tennis Federation board voted unanimously to suspend the Tunisian Tennis Federation for one year from the Davis Cup.
“There is no room for prejudice of any kind in sport or in society. The ITF Board decided to send a strong message to the Tunisian Tennis Federation that this kind of action will not be tolerated by any of our members,” said ITF president Francesco Ricci Bitti.