Tuesday, February 17, 2009

UAE: Second Israeli tennis player seeks visa to compete

Dubai, 17 Feb. (AKI) - Israeli tennis player Andy Ram was waiting for a decision on Tuesday from the United Arab Emirates on a visa application allowing him to compete in the men's draw of the Dubai Tennis Championships. Ram's application follows the controversy over Israeli compatriot Shahar Peer, whose visa was refused by UAE authorities, who cited concerns for her safety after the Israel's recent offensive in the Gaza Strip.The UAE refused to grant a visa to Peer preventing her from competing in this week's Dubai competition which is part of the Sony Ericsson Women's Tennis Association tour. The men's draw was due to begin on 23 February and Ram - who is ranked 11 in the world in doubles - still did not know late Tuesday if he would be able to compete.Ram, born in Uruguay, immigrated to Israel when he was five-years-old and turned professional in 1998. He currently lives in Jerusalem.Following the controversy generated by Peer's visa refusal, there was speculation that next year's tennis tournament might be cancelled.


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