Fedecoltenis :: Federación Colombiana de Tenis

Davis Cup Chile-Colombia: the Colombian Tennis Federation presents a demand to the International Tennis Federation and supports its players

Fecha: 1/08/2016, 12:00:00 a. m.

The Colombian Tennis Federation, after meetings with the Executive Committee and the Technical Committee, formally filed a complaint with the International Tennis Federation (ITF) based in London, after the serious breach of the Rules of the Davis Cup in the tie between Chile and Colombia held in Iquique (Chile) from 16 to 17 July 2016, on the grounds that the host team violated its commitment to make available to the players the main court and alternate training courts no later than Monday 11 July, ie 4 days before the start of the tie.

On the other hand, the demand is also based on the fact that on Friday July 15, the day scheduled for the beginning of the tie, Chile as the host team, also did not make available to the Colombian organization a proper and safe court on which to play the tie, as the referee and ITF delegate, Carlos Niemes, certified in his report, which, according to the Davis Cup Regulations, should have caused the decision to declare the visiting nation (Colombia) as the winner of the play-off.

Colombia filed a complaint after being forced to play on Saturday July 16 and Sunday July 17, on a court that, from the beginning, had been declared unplayable due to its poor condition and being highly dangerous to the physical integrity of the players. The sorry state of the court has been recognized -after the matches of the tie- by Ulises Cerda, president of the Chilean Tennis Federation, who has accepted the resignation of his deputy, Esteban Elias, son of Sergio Elias, a member of the ITF Board of Directors and president of the company in charge of building the courts for the Chile-Colombia tie.

Alternatively, the poor state of the court on which the tie took place, led to Nicolas Massu (Olympic medalist and captain of the Chilean team), Marcelo Rios (former world No. 1 and assistant coach of the Chilean team), Fernando Gonzalez (former top ten and Olympic medalist), Gonzalo Lama, Hans Podipnik and Nicolas Jarry, players of the Chilean Davis Cup team, expressesing in a letter sent to the public after completion of the Davis Cup, that "In the last Davis Cup we experienced the most demeaning situation a professional tennis player could have experienced. Not only for the fact that we offered an unpresentable court to our rivals (again) but we  also felt ashamed not to have seen a decent court on where to play the Davis Cup (...)".

Finally, the Executive Committee and the Technical Commission of the Colombian Tennis Federation unanimously backed the conduct of the delegates, the captain and other members of the coaching staff and all Colombian players during the tie. In the case of Santiago Giraldo, the Federation has refused to open a disciplinary investigation against him, recognizing that in a high risk situation, a professional player is entitled not to continue playing his game against the risk of injury that affects their physical integrity and their professional future, which in this case was proved by the deplorable conditions of the court on which the matches were played.

What would have happened if Colombia had refused to play?

As it is established in the Davis Cup Regulations, Colombia would:

- Lose by W.O. the tie against Chile.
- Not be eligible to play the Davis Cup in 2016, 2017 or in future competitions which would be decided by the Davis Cup Committee.
- Not face the Dominican Republic team in September in order to remain in Group I of the American Zone.
- Descend to Group II of the American Zone, something that has not happened since 2006.
- As a result of not competing in 2017, would descend to Group III of the American Zone.
- Receive a huge fine. Even in the case of failure to appear, Colombia would have to pay all reasonable expenses including overheads incurred by the International Tennis Federation and the Chilean Tennis Federation for the tie.
- Possibly receive claims for damages from the Chilean Tennis Federation.

Colombian Tennis Federation



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