Tennis body targets Malmö over fine

Tennis body targets Malmö over fine
The Swedish Tennis Association said on Monday it is considering billing Malmö city council for 330,000 kronor ($25,000) if it loses its appeal against a fine incurred for playing Sweden's Davis Cup match against Israel behind closed doors.

Swedish Tennis Association general secretary Henrik Källen told AFP an appeal would be launched within the next month.

“Our first step is to appeal those fines that we are obliged to pay.”

“If the appeal is not approved then we have to ask ourselves: can we go back to the city of Malmö and charge those fines to them?” Källen said.

The International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) Davis Cup Committee ruled on April 2nd that the Swedish governing body should pay $25,000 after local authorities refused to allow spectators to attend the March 6-9 tie which was won by Israel.

The ITF has also banned Malmö from holding Davis Cup matches for five years after local officials only allowed teams, officials, guests and media to watch the tie fearful of demonstrations taking place over Israel’s bloody December offensive in Gaza.

An ITF spokesman said the Swedish association had until May 2nd to lodge a complaint and that any appeal would be discussed during the French Open that takes place in Paris this June.

“The matter will then be discussed at the next meeting of the board of directors, which takes place during Roland Garros (the French Open tournament),” the spokesman said.

He refused to be drawn on the Swedish Tennis Association’s possible plans to bill the local authorities for the fine.

As well as a five-year ban, Sweden was warned it would suffer an automatic loss of choice of ground for the next tie were a similar situation to occur in the future.

Furthermore, all host city contracts entered into by the Swedish Tennis Association must guarantee that the tie will be open to the public.

The ITF has also denied the request of the Swedish Tennis Association to waive its obligation to provide a minimum of $15,000 dollars against gate receipts.