ITF Chief Advises Players to Seek Local Support During Coronavirus Shutdown

ITF Chief Advises Gamers to Search Native Assist Throughout Coronavirus Shutdown

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Image for representation. (Reuters)

Picture for illustration. (Reuters)

ITF has postponed 900 tournaments throughout all its circuits due to the coronavirus and has put half its employees on furlough.

  • Reuters
  • Final Up to date: April 10, 2020, 10:59 PM IST

Mumbai: The Worldwide Tennis Federation (ITF) is taking a look at methods to assist these most severely affected by the game’s shutdown as a result of coronavirus pandemic and advises gamers to assert authorities help the place attainable, its chief David Haggerty instructed Reuters.

The tennis season was halted in early March as a result of pandemic, leaving gamers within the decrease tiers who depend on event winnings with out the chance to earn a dwelling.

The lads’s ATP Tour and the WTA, which runs the ladies’s circuit, suspended all tournaments till mid-July after international locations began locking all the way down to comprise the unfold of the flu-like virus.

Final week the grasscourt Grand Slam at Wimbledon was scrapped for the primary time since World Battle Two whereas the French Open has been rearranged from Might to September as a result of pandemic.

The ITF, which is the world governing physique of the game and oversees the Fed Cup and Davis Cup together with quite a few lower-level tournaments, has taken the same method.

“The ITF, ATP, WTA and Grand Slams have had ongoing discussions in the course of the suspension of play and realise the impression that that is having on not solely gamers however different stakeholders resembling nations, tournaments, officers, coaches and spectators,” ITF President Haggerty mentioned in an interview.

“We’re persevering with our discussions to seek out possible methods to help these teams now and once we return to tennis. We might additionally encourage gamers to entry official authorities help as a contract/single worker firm in their very own international locations the place attainable.”

Georgia’s Sofia Shapatava, the 375th-ranked ladies’s singles participant on this planet, lately began a petition in search of help from tennis governing our bodies for lower-level professionals.

Many others have joined her to voice their considerations concerning the monetary hardships gamers are going through in the course of the shutdown.

The London-based ITF has needed to postpone 900 tournaments throughout all its circuits due to the virus and has put half its employees on furlough.

Haggerty mentioned the ITF isn’t taking registration charges for gamers, has made assets on its academy platform free and suspended subscriptions for member nations till play resumes.

“No person is ready to predict how lengthy the game can be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic however we’re working laborious to take care of the infrastructure of tennis as a worldwide sport and protect incomes alternatives when it’s secure to take action,” mentioned the 62-year-old.

“Earlier this week I used to be a part of a name with White Home Financial Council Director Larry Kudlow with some fellow tennis stakeholders getting the view of the return to sports activities, and the way tennis will resume.

“The consultants have concepts however there are nonetheless many particulars to be labored out about when it’s secure for sport, and particularly tennis, to return.”

FINANCIAL IMPACT

Haggerty mentioned his organisation needed to face important monetary impression as a result of disaster.

The ITF noticed the inaugural version of its flagship ladies’s multi-nation Fed Cup finals, scheduled to happen from April 14-19 in Budapest, postponed.

He remained hopeful of discovering an acceptable various date for the event.

“The Finals have been shaping as much as be a unbelievable spectacle for gamers and followers so we have been clearly very disenchanted that it could not go forward this month as deliberate,” he mentioned.

“Roughly half of the primary half of the 12 months’s exercise was postponed, accounting for about 50% of the earnings within the first six months.

“It is vital we proceed to help our 210 member nations in order that the game is in a powerful place to renew as quickly as it’s secure to take action.

“There isn’t any doubting the magnitude of this problem but when we work collectively and make the best choices, we’ll get by it.”

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