Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Peer criticised by IOC member

World No.17 Shahar Peer has been criticised by International Olympic Committee member Alex Gilady for inciting the partisan home crowd to try to distract the members of the russian team. "The crowd behaved this way because it was incited ... by Shahar Peer, I think this was unsporting conduct," Gilady said.
He also mentioned the crowd, some of whom had mimicked Australian Open champion Sharapova's grunting sounds as she hit the ball when she played Tzipora Obziler, had portrayed a "primitive" image of the country.

Gilady said he had sent a letter of apology for the crowd's behaviour to Russian Fed Cup captain Shamil Tarpishchev, who is also an IOC member.

The Israel Tennis Association said that it did not accept Gilady's criticism of Peer, although it asked spectators to behave in an acceptable manner.

"The Israel Tennis Association rejects Alex Gilady's attack on Israeli No. 1 Shahar Peer who has shown has sporting abilities and will continue to lead the Fed Cup team in future... the association calls on the spectators to show restraint and respect the rules," they said.

The partisan crowd didn't manage to help Israel, as they lost against Russia 1:4. They will have to fight in order to stay among the top eight. In order to do this, they will have a play-off tie in April which will either give them the right to stay in the elite of women’s team tennis, or relegate them to World Group II.


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