UAE Denies Israeli Tennis Player Visa

Peer would have been first Israeli to compete in country
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 15, 2009 1:05 PM CST
Shahar Peer is the 48th-ranked female tennis player in the world.   (AP Photo/Andrew Brownbill)
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(Newser) – The United Arab Emirates denied an Israeli tennis player a visa to compete in a tour in Dubai, preventing her from becoming the first Israeli athlete to play professionally in the country, CNN reports. Dubai could lose its World Tennis Association membership over the incident, which violates WTA policy guaranteeing qualifying players a spot in competitions. Loss of membership would mean pro players could only compete in exhibition matches there.

“We are deeply disappointed by the decision of the United Arab Emirates denying Shahar Peer a visa,” said the tour’s head. “The Tour is reviewing appropriate remedies for Ms. Peer, and also will review appropriate future actions with regard to the future of the Dubai tournament.”