Ukraine will not host Davis Cup after Belgium wins appeal


Barricades set on fire by protesters burn at Independence Square in Kiev. (Konstantin Grishin/Reuters)

Ukraine will not be the host for the Davis Cup tie against Belgium later next month after a successful appeal from the Belgian Tennis Federation, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) announced Tuesday.

The ITF noted in its statement that the original decision to play the tie in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev despite the political unrest had not been unanimous. The federation also announced that the Davis Cup tie between Israel and Argentina will not be held in Tel Aviv after rejecting the appeal by the Israel Tennis Association.

“It is always a very difficult decision for the ITF to take away choice of ground in Davis Cup,” ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said in a news release. “However, the safety of players, officials and spectators has to take priority and the Board believed that it was not prudent to hold ties in Ukraine or Israel because of political unrest in these countries at the present time and for the foreseeable future.”

Both World Group playoff ties are set to be played September 12-14. Ukraine has “five working days” to nominate a neutral venue and Israel has until Thursday.

Winners of the playoffs will advance to the 2015 World Group, the highest level of Davis Cup competition. Losers will be relegated to their respective Zonal regions.

Kelyn Soong is a news aide and blogger and covers high school tennis for The Washington Post sports section.

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