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Old 04-05-2004, 01:26 PM   #1
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Exclamation Tennis-~-Denmark

Denmark run the risk of being banned from next year's Davis Cup after pulling their team out of next weekend's match against Algeria.

The Europe-Africa Zone tie was due to be staged in Algiers from April 9-11, however security concerns have prompted the Danes to take extreme action.

Fearing that the match could be targeted by terrorists, the Dansk Tennis Forbund (Danish Tennis Federation) may now have to face the consequences of their decision.

The ITF could impose severe sanctions if they decide that the Danes have acted improperly.

According to ITF rules, the Danes will be unable to play in next year's tournament unless the governing body of world tennis decides that their withdrawal has come in exceptional circumstances.

Rule 16 of the Davis Cup states that: "If, after the draw has been made, any nation withdraws from the competition, that nation shall not be eligible to take part in the competition in the following year.

"In the case of a natural disaster or force majeure, the board of directors may resolve by a two-thirds majority that no penalty be imposed."

It is feasible that terrorists could see Denmark as a target, after their involvement in the past year's Gulf conflict.

They still have troops in Iraq, and those nations who have supported the incursion into the country have since found themselves targeted.

Spain, whose outgoing Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar backed the US mission, suffered atrocious losses in last month's morning rush-hour attacks on the Madrid train network.

As a result of Denmark's withdrawal, Algeria automatically advance to the second round of the Europe-Africa Zone competition, and they will play the winner of the Slovenia versus Poland tie which is also scheduled for April 9-11.

A mainly Muslim country, Algeria has emerged in the past 12 years as a breeding ground for terrorist organisations.

The ITF have reluctantly accepted Denmark's decision, saying that they have done so "with regret".

The organisation's Davis Cup Committee are due to meet in London on April 13, when the matter will be on the agenda.

Denmark may have to pay compensation to the Algerian Tennis Association, for loss of revenue, and the ITF also have the right to impose a fine.
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