U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) played a major role in applying diplomatic pressure to U.A.E. authorities throughout the Peer visa controversy and was influential in helping Israeli doubles player, Andy Ram, secure a place in the upcoming men’s Barclay’s Dubai Tennis Championships in Dubai. He had an insider’s view into the process, which he described as a “low-level bureaucratic decision” that could have been avoided if the WTA had handled it better. Not sure if this is just diplomatic spin at the WTA’s expense or the truth, but it’s interesting, nonetheless:
Here’s the money quote, or click here for the full article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (recommended):
The media in tennis-obsessed Europe have depicted the controversy as stemming from the fallout of Israel’s recent Gaza Strip war. (U.S. Rep. Anthony) Weiner said it was not so fraught: Israelis on their way to the UAE usually give the authorities a heads up, through whatever organization they will be representing. In Pe’er’s case, Weiner said, the WTA, the governing body of women’s tennis, was unaware of the custom until it was too late.
“In some of these things there’s more than meets the eye, in this case less than meets the eye,” the New York congressman continued. “This was a low-level bureaucratic decision that took on international significance and it became hard for them to extricate themselves from it.”
While it may be cold comfort for Peer, who has yet to hear how the WTA will recompense her for rankings points and prize money lost, it’s good news to hear Andy Ram will be able to play. Now let’s just hope for a peaceful and well-played tournament for players and fans.