The United Arab Emirates denied Israeli player Shahar Peer a visa last week, so she wasn’t able to compete in the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships. The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour has taken action in reference to Shahar Peer, Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Dubai Tournament to mend the situation and prevent it from happening again.
Here’s what, Larry Scott, Chairman & CEO of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, stated:
The actions taken today are intended to redress the wrongs suffered by Shahar Peer, who was victimized by an unjust policy of discrimination by the UAE. These actions are also intended to send a clear message that our Tour will not tolerate discrimination of any kind and that we will never allow this situation to happen again, in UAE or elsewhere. Thanks to the courage of Shahar, and all those individuals and organizations – including her fellow players – that supported her, the UAE has changed their policy and another barrier of discrimination has fallen.
Sony Ericsson WTA Tour actions in reference to Shahar Peer, Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Dubai Tournament:
• Shahar Peer Ranking Points: The awarding of 130 ranking points to Shahar Peer – an amount equal to the points that she earned during the same week in 2008 that she was unable to defend this past week in Dubai.
• Shahar Peer Prize Money: The awarding of US$44,250 to Shahar Peer – an amount equal to the average prize money that she earned per tournament (singles and doubles) in 2008.
• Anna-Lena Groenefeld Prize Money: The awarding of US$7,950 to Anna-Lena Groenefeld, who was to be Shahar Peer’s doubles partner in Dubai. This amount is equal to the average prize money that she earned per tournament in doubles in 2008.
• Dubai Tennis Championships Financial Penalty: The fining of the Dubai tournament US$300,000 for breach of Tour Rules, By-Laws and conditions of membership related to the denial of entry to Shahar Peer. This fine amount represents the highest fine ever levied against a Tour member.
• Dubai Tennis Championships Financial Performance Guarantee: The posting by the Dubai tournament of a US$2 million financial performance guarantee by July 1, 2009 that the conditions described below will be satisfied.
• Dubai Tennis Championships Conditions for Continued Membership (to be included on the Tour’s 2010 calendar):
1) confirmation of the written assurances already received that all players who qualify for the tournament shall, regardless of nationality, or any other reason, be allowed to play in the Dubai event and shall be issued entry visas or permits,
2) proof of approved UAE entry permit to enter the UAE for any Israeli player a minimum of eight weeks prior to the start of the 2010 Dubai tournament, and
3) guarantee that Peer shall be offered a wildcard to play the Dubai tournament in 2010 in the event that she does not qualify by ranking.
That’s bad for Shahar Peer. She could be one of the best hopefuls.
I still think the Dubai “dubious” tournament are getting away with it. The fines should have been way steeper.
Look at this latest news on the subject:
Dubai tournament organisers may appeal fine
“Neither Dubai Duty Free nor the tournament issues visas – we request them. It is the immigration authorities and sometimes the security people who make the decisions,” Colm McLoughlin, managing director of tournament owners and organisers Dubai Duty Free, said on Saturday.