ATP Tour

Tight security for British Davis Cup team

2015-11-23 17:39
Andy Murray (AFP)

London - Britain's Davis Cup team arrived in Belgium by private jet on Monday wrapped in a tight blanket of security for the weekend Davis Cup tie as the Benelux country remained on high terror alert.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) and the Belgian federation RBTF issued security guidelines in a statement on Monday as the tie in Ghent is to go ahead as planned amid constant consultations with the relevant authorities.

"As of today there are no changes to the previously published start times for the Davis Cup final between Belgium and Great Britain," the statement said.

"We are taking every necessary step to ensure the safety of the teams, the spectators, the media and all working staff. As you would expect, a number of specific, additional security measures have been put in place for this weekend's tie."

Spectators at the sold-out event that no bags, backpacks, food or drinks would be allowed into the Flanders Expo venue as the tie starts on Friday.

Fans are to arrive up to two hours before starting times to assure entry over tight security checks of everyone.

Some doubts had surfaced as to whether the final of the worldwide team competition could actually be played starting on Friday given the situation on the ground in the wake of the Paris attacks and a Belgian manhunt for one of the suspects.

But officials have sought to reassure on the unprecedented situation while the capital Brussels 80 kilometers away stayed on lockdown Monday, with schools and public buildings closed and the Metro shut down.

Britain's BBC quoted the head of the Flemish Tennis Federation (FTF), Gijs Kooken, as saying the final "will go on ... Everything is continuing because we believe it will go on."

Britain, with Andy Murray, Jamie Murray, Kyle Edmund, Dominic Inglot and James Ward, had been due to fly on Sunday but instead trained on clay indoors at London's Queen's club.

Kooken said he has "not yet had a signal that it's not safe to organise the event. It is an event with international exposure, with 13,000 spectators a day, so it is a risk event, of course, in the current situation - but I'm very confident in our government.

"Of course you never can predict what will happen next, but I would be surprised if it was cancelled. I'm quite confident that we will play."

The venue held a major cycling event at the weekend without incident.

Britain will be playing its first Davis Cup final since 1978 with the country's last victory in the worldwide team competition back in 1936. Belgium are into their first final in 111 years.

Read more on:    davis cup  |  andy murray  |  tennis

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