This week’s Jewish Report SPORTS News
Israel snubs results in Tunisia Davis Cup ban
Recently some people were berating the International Tennis Federation (ITF) for fining the Israeli Federation for not playing a Davis Cup match on Yom Kippur.
I have no problem with the fine as it cost the home team extra in expenses which needed to be reimbursed. However, the ITF once again showed its intolerance of political interference when they suspended Tunisia from next year’s Davis Cup tournament.
PICTURED RIGHT: Malek Jaziri was ordered to withdraw from his match against Amir Weintraub in Tashkent last month.
The event is one of the most important on the men’s calendar and the ban was enforced after the ITF learned that a Tunisian player was ordered not to compete against an Israeli opponent last month.
Malek Jaziri, his country’s highest-ranked player at 215 in the world, withdrew from a match against Israel’s Amir Weintraub at the 2013 Tashkent Challenger in October, citing a knee injury.
But Jaziri’s brother, Amir, who also happens to be his coach, told AFP that Jaziri had pulled out under orders from the Tunisian Tennis Federation not to play an Israeli. An e-mail ordering Jaziri to pull out of the match was published by Tunisia’s state news agency. Tunisian sports ministry spokesman Sadok Touati confirmed that the federation sent the e-mail after consulting the ministry.
Tunisians unanimously suspended
In light of the revelation, the ITF board voted unanimously to suspend the Tunisian Tennis Federation for one year from the Davis Cup.
ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti, said that there was no room for prejudice of any kind in sport or in society. “The ITF board decided to send a strong message to the Tunisian Tennis Federation that this kind of action will not be tolerated by any of our members,” he said.
It will be interesting to see if they take the same action against the Tunisian Federation Cup team as one of their women players pulled out of a match which she had won, would have seen her play against Israel’s Shahar Peer. It was later reported in Tunisia that she did not want to play Peer had she won.
Magazine going to the Jewish soul
Over the years sports magazines have not had too much success in South Africa. Many have tried and most have failed. In another piece of local news, about to hit the streets is a new publication called Soul Sport, this one putting the spotlightpurely on Jewish sport, particularly focusing on South Africa.
The magazine is the brainchild of Reverend Ilan Herrmann of the Lions Shul, who is the managing director of Soul Workout, an organisation that uses somewhat unconventional ways of bringing Jews closer to their religion, one of them being sport.
The cover of the first edition of Soul Sport which will be launched this month.
Herrmann is not new to the world of sport. His father was one of South Africa’s soccer legends – Brazil-born Jorge Santoro – who passed away in February 2011.Herrmann has also played the game and was a member of the Maccabi SA soccer team years ago, so he knows quite a bit about sport.
The first edition of Soul Sport will have a main feature on another South African soccer star, Dean Furman, who is presently prying his trade for Bafana Bafana.. There are also articles about South Africa’s “rugby minyan” – the 10 Springboks, a background of South African Jewish sportsmen and women, as well as ways to keep fit.
For those who want to know more about Soul Sport, there will be a TV documentary on SABC 2 on the Simcah programme on Sunday, November 17 at 11:45.
In addition, Herrmann will be doing a small launch of the magazine with a talk and some handouts, as well as a visual presentation at the Lions Shul in Doornfontein on Wednesday, November 20. Mincha and Ma’ariv will take place at 17:45 followed by presentation and refreshments.
* For further information one can get hold of Rav Herrmann at Soul Workout on (011) 440-5995 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org