A political wrangle is jeopardising the future of the Davis Cup Tennis Final this year.?
GV Members of South Africa and Italian teams onto tournament court
GV Mr. Franklin speaking
"Well, immediately the result of the match was known yesterday, I sent the following cable to the Indian Lawn Tennis Association: 'South Africa, with choice of venue for the Davis Cup final, extends a cordial invitation to you to play the final in South Africa and assures your team of a very warm welcome'. I said that we assured the Indian Lawn Tennis Association that our team -- Davis Cup team -- was selected on merit and on a non-racial basis. I also said that if her government, the Indian Government, absolutely officially prohibited them from playing in South Africa, then South Africa would be willing to consider a neutral venue, including a independent black African state. And I asked the Indian Lawn Tennis Association to advice us but please not to make any final decision pending further investigation."
Initials BB/1833 TH/JB/BB/1821
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Background: A political wrangle is jeopardising the future of the Davis Cup Tennis Final this year. Yesterday (October 5), South Africa completed a 4-1 semi-final victory over Italy. But India, the other finalists, had already announced unwillingness to meet South Africa in the final on political grounds.
India refuse to play the final because of South Africa's apartheid policies. And there are now suggestions that if the dispute remains unsettled, it could finally lead to South Africa's expulsion from the Davis Cup competition.
As soon as the result was known yesterday, the President of the South African Lawn Tennis Union, Mr. Blen Franklin, sent a telegram to the Indian federation offering to play the final in a neutral country, in order to save the tie: