Tennis final to go ahead in Belgium
LONDON: The Davis Cup final is set to go ahead as planned in Ghent this weekend with increased security measures because of the ongoing terror alert in Belgium, the International Tennis Federation said yesterday.
After delaying the trip by a day, Britain’s team flew into Ghent yesterday ahead of the three-day final against Belgium, which begins on Friday. Ghent is about 35 miles (56 kilometers) from Brussels, which is on the highest state of alert because of what the Belgian government calls a “serious and imminent” threat.
“The ITF and Royal Belgian Tennis Federation in consultation with the relevant officials and our risk assessment and security advisers, are closely monitoring the situation in Belgium and specifically in Ghent,” the ITF said in a statement. “As of today there are no changes to the previously published start times ... we are taking every necessary step to ensure the safety of the teams, the spectators, the media and all working staff.”
Among additional security measures being implemented is a complete ban on fans taking bags into the 13,000-seat Flanders Expo indoor clay court. Britain is playing in its first Davis Cup final in 37 years and is aiming to win its first title since 1936. — AP
LYON: Gent’s Belgian coach Hein Vanhaezebrouck (L) speaks next to Gent’s Belgian midfielder Thomas Foket (R) during a press conference on the eve of the Champions League football match between Olympique Lyonnais and KAA Gent, yesterday at the Gerland stadium in Lyon, southeastern France. —AFP