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Search on for alternate Davis Cup venue

Search on for alternate Davis Cup venue

The International Tennis Federation is aiming at September dates for Asia Oceania Group III and IV Davis Cup events moved out of Myanmar last week because of  security concerns, but the world’s governing body is open to the idea of a prospective host willingly organising them much earlier. The competing federations have also been assured of at least a three-week lead in time.

The ITF is still on the look out for an alternate venue and at this stage it is not clear whether both the events will be held the same week at the same place.

In terms of rescheduling, the ITF will work to find dates that are as player-friendly as possible and will take into account the professional calendar and other events marked in the region.

While the ITF is looking at a window from May to the Davis Cup-protected week starting on September 9 to reschedule these events, the head of the Davis Cup and Fed Cup, Justine Albert, told the Post over the telephone from her London office on Monday: “We don’t know. If someone steps forward and is willing to do it in June, it is June.”

Albert declined to comment on financial compensation from the ITF to competing federations, who had incurred huge losses following the last-minute decision by Myanmar to pull out of its hosting commitments due to what the government there perceived as serious security threats to the safety of teams, officials and fans.

But the Post has reliably learned that the ITF has categorically ruled out financial compensation.

Sources with absolute knowledge of a security review that led to the heightened alert and subsequent cancellation of these two major tennis events, told the Post on condition of anonymity that a sinister plot that would have caused mayhem during the opening ceremony had been foiled in the nick of time.

Among the Group III contenders taking a huge hit from this postponement is the Tennis Federation of Cambodia. Two of the squad members, Mam Panhara and his elder brother Phalkun, who had been flown in earlier this month from the United States, have now gone back to their career pursuits.

“On one end we have this financial blow. We had made all travel and stay arrangements . . . it is frustrating,” the TFC secretary-general and Davis Cup team’s non-playing captain Tep Rithivit told the Post.

“We do understand that the circumstances were unforeseen and exceptional but, from our sponsors NagaWorld’s standpoint, it is a very big blow.”

NagaWorld’s marketing manager Yeo Wan Han said yesterday that the postponement was unfortunate.

“As sponsors we were as eager as the players that Cambodia performed well. We also realise the overall impact of this sudden development on the team psyche,” he told the Post.

“As for additional assistance, we will reassess the situation in con-sultation with the Federation and extend help to the fullest possible extent.”

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