Photo: Paul ZimmerThe Davis Cup trophy
At its regularly scheduled meeting in Cagliari, Italy, the ITF Board of Directors found that the Tunisian Tennis Federation was in breach of the ITF Constitution by interfering with international sporting practice and ordering Tunisian player Malek Jaziri not to compete against Israeli player Amir Weintraub at the 2013 Tashkent Challenger in October.
The Board was not satisfied with the case put forward by the Tunisian Tennis Federation and voted to suspend Tunisia from the 2014 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas competition. The decision of the ITF Board was unanimous although ITF Board Member from Tunisia, Tarak Cherif, recused himself from the discussion and the vote.
The 2013 ITF Constitution states the ITF and its members must preserve the integrity and independence of Tennis as a sport and must carry out their objects and purposes without unfair discrimination on grounds of colour, race, nationality, ethnic or national origin, age, sex or religion.
At the 2013 ITF Annual General Meeting in Paris in July, the 2014 Constitution was amended to add gender, sexual orientation and disability as other categories for which unfair discrimination is forbidden.
“There is no room for prejudice of any kind in sport or in society,” said ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti. “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.”
The decision of the ITF Board of Directors is final.