Visa Granted To Ram

Against the odds, the ATP reported in a statement today that Israeli Andy Ram will be granted his visa. Here is the statement from executive chairman and president Adam Helfant:

"I am pleased that the efforts to secure Andy Ram's visa to compete in the ATP World Tour 500 event in Dubai next week have been successful. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) government has made the right decision in allowing Andy Ram to enter their country and compete in next week's Dubai Tennis Championships. No player, who qualifies to play an ATP World Tour event, should be denied their right to compete on the basis of ethnicity, nationality or religion and we are happy that the Dubai Tennis Championships and the UAE have shown that they share that view."

I spoke a few minutes ago to Ram's lawyer, Amit Naor, who said Ram was very happy (he's in the semifinals in doubles in Marseille). Naor said the government of Dubai, under tremendous pressure from the ATP and the worldwide backlash, had "come to its senses."

"It's a victory for sport, not for Andy," he added.

I'll update more as I learn about how this unfolded.


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