Google Down the Line!: THE LOW DOWN: Shahar denied visa by UAE, cannot compete in Dubai

Sunday, February 15, 2009

THE LOW DOWN: Shahar denied visa by UAE, cannot compete in Dubai

Shahar Peer won't be allowed to compete in Dubai next week.

The United Arab Emirates have declined the Israeli lady baller's request for a visa which would have made her the first person from her country to compete in the UAE.

However WTA policy states "no player should be barred from competing in a tournament for which she has qualified" and Dubai could therefore lose its membership to the Tour next year.

WTA CEO Larry Scott released the following statement:

We are deeply disappointed by the decision of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) denying Shahar Peer a visa that would permit her to enter the country to play in the Dubai Tennis Championships.

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.
Shahar and her family have been in Thailand where she was competing in Pattaya City and upon hearing of the decision were described by Scott as "extremely upset and disappointed" about the news.

Earlier this year, the 21-year old was subject to protests in Auckland following her country's invasion of Gaza and last February became the first person from her country to compete at a tourney in one of the Persian Gulf states.

I find the decision by the UAE to be completely unfair from a sporting perspective and extremely unprofessional as a member of the WTA Tour. It most certainly violates the policy of allowing a lady baller to compete in a tourney she qualifies for and they should therefore deal with whatever consequences are attributed.

Moreover, after all of the monies the WTA Tour has funneled into extending their reach into this area of the world and building a tennis tradition, the organization must be gravely disappointed.

But these purely money-making moves usually have unfortunate consequences and the WTA executives may now need to rework this strategy.

(image via Getty)


  1. Wow, that is absolutely disgusting. What an unfair position to be put in, and I think all the players in that tournament should just protest it and not go.

  2. It's outrageous!I can't believe how ignorant and stupid people can be, and actually people on high positions who should be smart above others, who should insist on peace and equality, and fairness in every sense there is.But no, in 21. century people are so ignorant and stupid like they were born yesterday.
    I'm just sickned by that decision.Can't they once and for good make a difference between SPORT and stupid politics?Can we once and forever not make war??
    What does it take to finally evolve.
    She is an athlete and not Israeli president, she has nothing to do with a crap being done in politics, and yeah, that doesn't even have to be said, it's plain obvious.
    They are prohibiting her from doing her job, and without a valid reason, and that should be punished, it's clearly agaist the law.Only they don't obay the law.
    Poeple who make these decisions should go and find another job, for our all sake.And be prosecuted.

  3. This is absolutely ridiculous.

    The tournament should have their status revoked by the WTA...but unfortunately, money talks, and there's no chance in hell this will ever happen.

  4. Rich "But these purely money-making moves usually have unfortunate consequences and the WTA executives may now need rework this strategy."


  5. This is absolutely revolting. The fact that they pick on Shahar because of a war in which she is not involved and the fact that she happened to be born in Israel is disgusting. I sincerely hope that principal overrides money and Dubai loses its WTA membership. Shahar is super sweet and has always tried to avoid politics. I hope the other palyers stand up for her.

  6. This is horrible. The players should boycott the tournament and not play, and Larry Scott should stop being such a whore and not allow the tournament to continue.

  7. Unfortunately the world has more problems than just the economy. It will be very interesting to see how this plays out. Thanks for a good overview of the situation. I am truly sorry for Shahar and her family. Sports in its truest form should be a place where prejudices get left at the door and talent reins.

  8. While Larry Scott is "deeply disappointed" by the decision to deny Shahar Peer a visa for Dubai, I am deeply disappointed in him and the WTA board. Perhaps the door was opened last year when Peer was allowed to compete in Qatar, but her coach, trainer and family were forbidden to enter the country to work with and support her.
    There is a lot of money riding on this event for the players, the tour, the tour's executives and staff and the other sponsors. Which may explain why, then as now, Larry Scott's response is disturbingly mild.
    What else might happen? Russia banning a player from a recalcitrant former Soviet satellite? Or perhaps openly gay players denied entry into a theocracy with laws about sexual orientation?
    After the current contract for the year-end championships in Dubai concludes, the event moves to Istanbul. Assuming that Peer can raise her level so that she is in the top 10, what happens there?
    The response to denying a visa to Peer should be nothing less than cancelling the event right now. The WTA must not accept that any other entity rule the tour, nor that the tour be politicized.

  9. The fact that the WTA is allowing this sets a horrible precedent for all future tournaments which is exactly why they need to stop being blinded by the money and take a stand on this issue.

    Although, I think top players boycotting this tournament would send a strong statement, I don't think it is the players' responsibility to police their sport and fight policy matters that should be handled by the gutless WTA.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...