The Davis cup tie, which Sweden lost 3-2, was closed to the public because the city’s local politicians, who’d been strongly critical of Israel after the Gaza invasion, said they could not guarantee security at the venue where large anti-Israeli demonstrations were planned outside. The city of Malmö has a large muslim community.
The Davis cup committee also said that the Swedish federation will be forced to pay an additional 15,000 dollars, which would have been earned in gate receipts had the three days of play been open to spectators.
” The committee strongly condemned the decision by the city government of Malmö to refuse to allow spectators to attend the matches and the resultant fact that the Swedish Tennis Association played the tie behind closed doors,” the committee said in a statement.
In response, the chairman of Sweden’s tennis federation Stefan Dahlbo said his organisation would appeal the decision and blamed the city of Malmö for what happened.
”It’s an unfortunate consequence of individual politicians trying to score political points,” Dahlbo said. ”We thought the decision (by Malmo) was irresponsible and we still think so.”
The Swedes will now be forced to guarantee to the International Tennis Federation that every Davis Cup series in the Scandinavian country will be open to fans.