Tennis-France pulls out of bidding process to host Davis Cup group stage

  • Tennis
  • Tuesday, 19 Apr 2022

FILE PHOTO: The logo of the French tennis Federation is seen at Roland-Garros stadium during the 2020 French tennis Open in Paris, France, October 7, 2020. Picture taken October 7, 2020. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

(Reuters) -France's tennis federation (FFT) said it has pulled out of the bidding process to become a host for the group stage of this year's Davis Cup Finals due to "onerous financial and operational conditions".

The International Tennis Federation had initially named Bologna, Glasgow, Hamburg and Malaga as hosts for the group stage of the men's team competition from Sept. 14-18.

Malaga was then picked to host the knockout rounds in November with the governing body inviting bids to replace it for the group stage.

The FFT said it went to the Court of Arbitration for Sport last month after being "unfairly excluded" from the bidding process but was made eligible to submit a proposal to replace Malaga.

"After finally being able to review the complete specifications in the designation of the host cities ... the FFT has decided not to submit a bid in view of the onerous financial and operational conditions which no potential organiser in the French territory was willing to accept," it said in a statement.

The FFT added that it withdrew the CAS appeal on Monday after its right to participate in the bidding process was recognised and since the case "no longer has any purpose".

The ITF said it hoped that the French body will bid for future editions of the tournament.

"We were very surprised by the FFT's recent announcement regarding the group stage bid process as it is completely unrelated to the FFT's CAS case," the world governing body said in a statement to Reuters.

"The FFT sought a preliminary decision to halt preparations for the group stage while the case was considered but this was dismissed by CAS on 30 March 2022."

The competition, which began in 1900, has undergone various changes in format, most recently in 2019 when home and away ties were replaced by a World Cup-style Finals after the ITF struck a lucrative deal with Spanish investment group Kosmos.

"The FFT's desire to promote and revitalise the Davis Cup is stronger than ever," the French body added.

"In the interest of this competition and of tennis, the FFT wishes to contribute to the reflection on the sporting format of the competition and the evolution of its economic model to make it more attractive."

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Peter Rutherford)

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