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The Israeli tennis player Andy Ram has been granted the visa to play in Dubai

The Israeli tennis player Andy Ram has been granted the visa to play in Dubai
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Israel's Andy Ram will be able to play in the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships next week after being granted a visa to enter the United Arab Emirates.

The governing body of men's tennis, the ATP, had been exerting pressure to ensure that Ram could take part after his countrywoman, Shahar Peer, was prevented from playing in the women's event this week.

Adam Helfant, the president and executive chairman of the ATP, said: ''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.

''The United Arab Emirates 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.''

Ram, 28, is one of the leading doubles players on the ATP Tour and won the Australian Open title last year.

Peer, the world No 45, described the decision to turn down her visa request as an ''injustice'' and hit out at the ''politics'' and ''discrimination'' of the situation.

Larry Scott, the chairman and chief executive officer of the women's tour organisers, the WTA, called the decision ''reprehensible and unacceptable'', but believes Thursday's decision means the same thing will not happen again. The tournament's future had been in doubt following the incident and Scott confirmed penalties are still to be decided.

Organisers of this week's women's event had suggested that they had acted to protect Peer's personal safety. But the decision to deny Peer a visa on the grounds of her Israeli nationality threatened to damage Dubai's reputation as an international leisure and sports destination, and the backtrack over Ram's visa will go only some way towards restoring the emirate's relatively liberal reputation.

Many international sports stars, including global figures such as Michael Schumacher and Tiger Woods, have commercial associations with Dubai-based sporting events.
Article Source: Telegraph  
Related Keywords: tennis  
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