Stakeholders to PHILTA: Act on ITF ban

THE GAME OF MY LIFE - Bill Velasco (The Philippine Star) - November 28, 2020 - 12:00am

National tennis team members are im­ploring the Philippine Tennis Association (PHILTA) to immediately act on the two-year suspension meted out by the Interna­tional Tennis Federation (ITF). The STAR obtained a copy of the suspension let­ter dated Nov. 25. The missive noted that ITF began the proceedings with written notices to PHILTA and the Philippine Olympic Committee back on Dec. 1 of last year “Following more than three years of non-cooperation and inadequate communi­cation on the part of PHILTA.” ITF says that PHILTA repeatedly did not comply with deadlines to submit standard reportorial requirements, including plans for amending the constitution to increase membership.

“By virtue of its suspension from ITF membership, PHILTA is currently ineligible to;

• Attend any General Meeting of the ITF

• Apply for any form of ITF funding or grant programmes

• Apply for any ITF Development technical support or ITF Development programmes

• Apply for any national tournament to form part of the ITF Circuits including the ITF World Tennis Tour (men’s, women’s and juniors), ITF Wheelchair World Tour, ITF Beach Tennis Circuit and ITF Seniors Circuit

• Participate in all ITF Official Team Competitions,” ITF president David Haggerty further explained in the missive.

“It’s really hard for us tennis players, already contending with this pandemic, and then hearing that PHILTA being suspended by the ITF, hurts us even more. We’ve been out of competition for almost a year now, and we just want to go back and be able compete again,” said 2019 SEA Games men’s doubles gold medalist Francis Casey “Nino” Alcantara. “Banning us from the Davis Cup and other team competitions sanctioned by the ITF would be very hard to take in and accept.”

Haggerty noted that PHILTA is made up of an “exclusive membership base” which does not qualify it to be a national sporting federation. He clarified that National Sports Associations (NSAs) must be composed of regional representatives of various sports organizations and should be presided over by the sporting clubs themselves. Haggerty had also asked PHILTA for their plan of action for diversifying its membership so that an election may take place.

(Despite the suspension, PHILTA was allowed to vote in yesterday’s POC election.)

“The problem must be addressed for the sake of the national team and the whole tennis community. Two years of being suspended is a long time,” declared Clemente Barrera, father of three promising age-groupers.

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