The International Tennis Federation (ITF) decided to ban Tunisia from the 2014 Davis Cup after they told Malek Jaziri to not play against Israeli opponent Amir Weintraub at the ATP Challenger tournament in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
“There is no room for prejudice of any kind in sport or in society,” ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said in the statement. “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. The Board felt that suspension from Davis Cup, a competition that was founded 113 years ago to encourage better understanding through sport, would provide a good lesson for the Federation and a fitting penalty for their unfortunate action.”
Tunisia interfered with international play when the country’s tennis federation emailed Jaziri about his match against Weintraub:
“Following a meeting this afternoon with the Ministry of Youth and Sports, I have the immense regret to inform you that you are ordered not to play against the Israeli player,” the federation said in an email to Jaziri.
Jaziri’s brother Amir passed the email to Tunisia’s state news agency. Nick Imison, the ITF spokesman, said if they found evidence the country’s federation played a part in the withdrawal they violated the ITF constitution.
Jaziri is Tunisia’s best tennis player and ranked 169th in the world. He hoped the withdrawal would not harm his career.