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View Full Version : Sweden-Israel Davis Cup to go ahead without fans


vive le beau jeu !
02-25-2009, 04:08 AM
(after the peer-dubai mess...)

STOCKHOLM (AP)—The Davis Cup matches between Sweden and Israel will be played without spectators in Malmo next month after an attempt fell through to move the venue to Stockholm.

Swedish organizers Tuesday cited security concerns for the closed-door policy because anti-Israeli demonstrations are expected during the best-of-five series March 6-8.

“It’s terrible that they are trying to mix politics with sports, especially in an enlightened country like Sweden,” said Michael Klein, chairman of the Israeli Tennis Federation.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said Tuesday the decision was not for his government to make.

“If local authorities decide to prevent spectators from attending, what can I say?” Palmor said. “We leave it to local security authorities to do what they think is best.”

The action comes after the United Arab Emirates denied Israeli tennis player Shahar Peer a visa last week, preventing her from competing in Dubai. Organizers said they feared fan anger over Israel’s recent military offensive in Gaza. The WTA fined organizers a record $300,000.

The UAE later granted a permit to Israeli Andy Ram to play in this week’s men’s tournament. Ram was chosen Tuesday to the Davis Cup team, along with Dudi Sela, Harel Levy and Noam Okun.

In January, an Israeli basketball team fled to the locker room as hundreds of Turkish fans protested the violence in Gaza. A pro-Islamic group earlier set an Israeli flag on fire outside the arena.

This will be the second time a Davis Cup series will be played in an empty arena in Sweden. In 1975, two years after a military coup in Chile led by Augusto Pinochet, Sweden played Chile in Bastad and no spectators were allowed.

The Malmo-Stockholm matter has an unmistakable political dimension.

Malmo, Sweden’s third-largest city, has a left-leaning local government and large Muslim minority. Its leaders have strongly criticized Israel after the Gaza invasion. Some called for dropping the Davis Cup matches altogether.

Stockholm has a center-right majority that is more pro-Israeli. The Swedish capital on Monday offered to step in as an alternate venue, saying it was better prepared to guarantee security.

The plan was canceled when Stockholm officials realized they wouldn’t be able to organize in time for the Israeli team’s Sunday arrival, said Madeleine Sjostedt, Stockholm’s vice mayor in charge of culture and sports. She said it’s “regrettable that Malmo doesn’t engage in discussion with those who threaten with violence.”

Malmo Mayor Ilmar Reepalu insisted the decision to bar spectators was based solely on security. Reepalu noted that pro-Palestinian groups disrupted a recent pro-Israel demonstration by throwing bottles, eggs and fireworks.

“It shows the tensions that exist after the conflict in Gaza,” Reepalu told The Associated Press by telephone.
from: http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/news;_ylt=Akq31uJ0gVfrzsrVDufNgNA4v7YF?slug=ap-daviscup-israel-sweden&prov=ap&type=lgns

wow... and it already occured in 1975 with chile ?



by the way, no edberg for the tie, finally (as there had been some talk about it)... but anyway he wouldn't have enjoyed to make a comeback in an empty stadium !

Gorecki
02-25-2009, 05:31 AM
fans not going at the event? shame on them... pulling another publicity stunt!

and the swedes... bah...

vive le beau jeu !
02-25-2009, 07:09 AM
how many people were they expecting in this indoor arena ?...

that will be a really strange tie... played in an empty place...... :?

mzzmuaa
02-25-2009, 02:06 PM
business as usual

woodrow1029
02-25-2009, 02:14 PM
how many people were they expecting in this indoor arena ?...

that will be a really strange tie... played in an empty place...... :?
Capacity was 4077.

soyizgood
02-25-2009, 02:20 PM
Another victory for Islam....

Gorecki
02-25-2009, 02:23 PM
Another victory for Islam....

correction : another victory for fanatism... if i may!

danb
02-25-2009, 02:25 PM
Another victory for Islam....

Sad but true...

seffina
02-25-2009, 02:39 PM
correction : another victory for fanatism... if i may!

Sadly many do not see the difference.

S H O W S T O P P E R !
02-25-2009, 03:13 PM
The Davis Cup is like futbol's World Cup: it is just not the same when there isn't screaming fans cheering on their countrymen.

vbranis
02-25-2009, 04:00 PM
Wow! That will be awkward. I mean, it's gonna feel like a neutral venue even though the Swedes are at home.

SempreSami
02-25-2009, 06:23 PM
Sad but true...

No it sodding isn't.

Hankenstein
02-26-2009, 01:48 AM
Malmo Mayor Ilmar Reepalu insisted the decision to bar spectators was based solely on security.

ABSOLUTE BS!!! The local police told tv and newspapers that they had give green light for the event to be played with spectators. They police said "this is nothing for us. We are used of arranging soccer-matches with a lot of hooligans etc and it´s no problem. It´s a small venue with only 4000 spectators and we have also called in extra riot-police from rest of the country"

The (almost) Communist-party "Vänsterpartiet" (the left party) is extremely against Israel and wanna help Palestine and often arranges demonstrations in a lot of cities here in sweden. Unfortuantely Socialdemokraterna (the running party in malmö) and vänsterpartiet had a majority with 1 vote when the local authorities voted about the event.

Absolute BS that the game are used as a springboard for the local debate here in Sweden. A shame!!

On a side note; Sweden have a MAJOR injury list and have signed up those players for singles :
Daniel Berta (16 years, unranked) and Björn Rehnqvist (31 years, ATP 218)

Underhand
02-26-2009, 02:09 AM
Go Vänsterpartiet!

Gen
02-26-2009, 02:12 AM
Last year two cup matches were played in Israel: Fed Cup vs Russia and Davis Cup vs Sweden. On both occasions the israeli public severely misbehaved (to put it mildly). These savages were screaming during the points and serves, they were insulting players and their support staff, they were abusing Russian girls with all the foul four-letter words they knew in various languages. And "poor dear" Shahar Peer was conducting the chorus and raising mass hysterics to a still higher level. People who saw these two nightmarish ties are very reluctant to be nice to any israeli team in any part of the world.

vive le beau jeu !
02-26-2009, 03:56 AM
Last year two cup matches were played in Israel: Fed Cup vs Russia and Davis Cup vs Sweden. On both occasions the israeli public severely misbehaved (to put it mildly). These savages were screaming during the points and serves, they were insulting players and their support staff, they were abusing Russian girls with all the foul four-letter words they knew in various languages. And "poor dear" Shahar Peer was conducting the chorus and raising mass hysterics to a still higher level. People who saw these two nightmarish ties are very reluctant to be nice to any israeli team in any part of the world.
so this would be why it took more than 5 hours to sela and massu to play a 4 sets match in the israel-chile tie in 2007 ?... with an agitated crowd, the time taken between the points must be longer.

but playing without spectators appears more hampering for sweden (who is playing at home) than for israel !
and for the people who were travelling especially for the occasion... this sucks.