The International Tennis Federation has moved New Zealand's Davis Cup tie against Lebanon out of the Middle East because of security concerns.
As the Sunday Star-Times reported last month, there were fears about sending the New Zealand team into a country that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is advising Kiwis to stay away from.
But the ITF has decided that it's not safe to play the Asia Oceania group 2 there, which is due to take place in February.
The Lebanese Tennis Federation has a week to find a neutral country to take the tie to otherwise it will be played in New Zealand.
Tennis NZ CEO Steve Johns is pleased that the players won't have to travel to that troubled part of the world.
"Although the players would have gone to Lebanon, I think they're pretty happy that they're not going to have to go there, so that in itself is pretty good," Johns said.
"They have a week to submit to the ITF a neutral venue because under the Davis Cup regulations if a tie gets moved because of security grounds, the host nation has the right to nominate a neutral ground and they have got until next Wednesday to do that."
If the tie is held in a neutral country it will be the Lebanese Tennis Federation that pays for it, if it's moved to Auckland, where it will likely be played in Albany, Tennis NZ foots the bill.
New Zealand should comfortably beat Lebanon and after that, they're likely to play Pakistan away next.
So once again the ITF will be required to step in to go through the security issues.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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