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Israel will not get to host Davis Cup match because of Gaza conflict

Israel will not get to host Davis Cup match because of Gaza conflict
Dudi Sela, who reached the championship match of the Atlanta Open last week, and his Israeli teammates will have to play on the road against Argentina in their Davis Cup match next month because of the conflict in the Gaza Strip. (Erik S. Lesser / EPA)

The governing body of the Davis Cup tennis event will not allow Israel to host Argentina in a world group playoff because of "concerns arising from the military conflict between Israel and Hamas" in the Gaza Strip.

The International Tennis Assn. said Israel can nominate a venue in another country for the Sept. 12-14 match originally scheduled for Tel Aviv. If Israel refuses to offer a neutral site, then the ITF said it will either select a neutral site or allow Argentina to host the match.

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The ITF released the following statement:

"The committee determined that, while the military conflict seemed to be slowing down, there was no certainty that this would be the case at the time of the tie that is due to take place in five weeks. The committee felt that its first priority was to ensure the safety of the players, officials and the public and regretfully decided that the tie would not be held in Israel as originally scheduled."

The Assn. of Tennis Professionals, the governing body for the men's tour, canceled the inaugural Israel Open that was scheduled for Sept. 15-21 in Tel Aviv because of security concerns. Israel has not hosted an ATP event since 1996.

"The situation in Israel is very fluid at the moment and yet security in Israel is of an exceptionally high standard," Davis Cup Committee chairman Juan Margets said. "Ultimately the outcome rested on the lack of certainty of the situation at the date of the tie, on the decision of other sports not to compete in Israel at this time and on the ITF's duty to ensure the safety of players, officials and spectators."

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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