Lessons must be learned from Peer’s Dubai debacle

By Danny Caro, February 18, 2009

The Shahar Peer episode is a very sad state of affairs and I believe that organisers of the Dubai Tennis Championships should hang their heads in shame. Without wanting to go over the top, it’s not too dissimilar to the Nazi regime preventing a Jew from taking part because of their religion.

The event is meant to be one of the most prestigious on the circuit for the top players. Either it is or it isn’t and it is clearly not. It shouldn’t be able to pick and choose who can and cannot play.

That is the decision of the WTA and Peer met the criteria by qualifying by right. The policy of preventing an up-and-coming talent from parading on the world stage stinks. I believe that the top players have lost all respect for competition. The bottom line is that Peer is a proud Israeli and has also suffered a loss of earnings.

I think a line must be drawn under the incident and the authorities remove the competition from the calender. If Peer was American, do you think she would have been prevented from taking part? Enough said.

News that Roman Abramovich lost almost have his fortune during the economic downturn did not come as a surprise, although it remains unclear whether the $9 billon dollars fell out of his left or right pocket.

North London Raiders A have broken the bank to sign striker Richie Reggel from Bafana Bafana for a club record fee. Nicknamed the Leicester Express, Reggel is looking forward to making a new start although he admits that he left Bafana with a heavy heart. “I enjoyed six wonderful seasons with Bafana,” he said. “But Raiders made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. They are a great club that is clearly going places.”

The father-of-one is believed to have been attracted by a three-and-a-half smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel package that includes weekly supplies of hair gel.

I maintained my proud penalty record last weekend when helping the Raiders into the fourth round of the Jewish FA Cup. Having saved nine out of 10 for Brixton Old Boys two seasons ago, I kept another out with the match goalless against Hendon Hawks. In typical Fabian Barthez style, I received a kiss on the head from defender Anthony Shaw who was clearly feeling the after affects of Valentine’s Day.

Hendon’s Josh Richman has been ruled out for the rest of season after tearing ankle ligaments in a freak accident during the game.

North London Raiders Masters’ Richard Sacks is out for another eight weeks with a MCL tear in my knee. He’s targeted an April 19 comeback.

Glenthorne United B captain Josh Hambling suffered a suspected fractured collarbone after clashing with a member of his own in the draw against Pinner JFC.

The JC MSFL rep team will attempt to get its London Inter-League Cup campaign under way for a second time on Monday night when they host the Turkish Federation League at Potters Bar Town in a 7.45pm kick-off.

Match of the day this weekend sees defending champions North West Neasden A put their 100 per cent record on the line when they take on former league winners Hendon United A in the JC MSFL Premier Division.

Having won 11 on the spin in the league, Neasden joint-manager Jamie Cole said: “When you come against Hendon you know you are going to face a different type of football. It’s not a dirty way of playing. It’s a very committed and honest style that helped them to the title two seasons ago. At the end of the day Hendon are fighting to be champions again and they will do everything they can to get three points.”

Neasden have named a full-strength squad, although Danny Cole faces a late fitness test after getting his arm stuck in a car.

Hendon have a full squad to choose from with the exception of Ilan Scorah. Manager Benji Wreschner commented: “We are massive underdogs so I’ll be telling my players to relax and enjoy the game.”

James Ryan, player-manager of East London Knights, has promised “a very attacking line-up” in the must-win Division Four clash against UJS Norstar. They welcome back Zack Forrest.

Last updated: 9:43am, February 19 2009