Tennis

Andy Murray: ITF a bit disrespectful over treatment of Aljaz Bedene

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Andy Murray described the International Tennis Federation's (ITF) treatment of Aljaz Bedene as "a bit disrespectful" after the British number two was made to wait to find out the outcome of his Davis Cup appeal.

Bedene is currently ineligible for the British team because he has fallen foul of a change in the rules barring players from representing two different countries.

The 26-year-old was in the process of changing nationalities from Slovenian to British when the new rule came in in January and believes he has a good case.

He travelled to Prague with Lawn Tennis Association lawyer Stephen Farrow ready to present his case to the ITF board of directors at their meeting on Tuesday.

But Bedene was given only a brief chance to speak before being told a decision would not be taken until the next board meeting in March.

Had the world number 45 been successful in his appeal, he could have come into consideration for the Davis Cup final between Britain and Belgium in Ghent next weekend.

He must now watch from the sidelines and, as it stands, will still not have had his appeal heard when Britain play their first-round match against Japan next year.

Murray, who had strongly hinted he would have picked Bedene for the final had he been available, has sympathy for his compatriot's predicament.

The world number two told the BBC: "The fact that he had to go all the way over to Prague just to be told that they hadn't made a decision, I think, is a bit disrespectful towards him.

"If they hadn't made a decision, they could have just said, 'We haven't made a decision yet - we're going to decide in March,' and he could have stayed at home.

"I think they have done everything correctly and in the right amount of time and I can understand from his side why you would be very frustrated with that."

Meanwhile, the Belgian Tennis Federation says "visible and non-visible" security measures will be taken to ensure the safety of players, officials and spectators in Ghent.

Two international football friendlies have been called off this week because of security concerns, including Belgium's clash with Spain, which had been due to take place in nearby Brussels.

In a statement given to Press Association Sport, federation president Luc Vandaele said: " The safety plan for the Davis Cup final is under rigorous review in conjunction with police, internal affairs and independent security advisors.

"Visible and non-visible measures will be taken inside and around the venue to guarantee the safety of all stakeholders. Any changes in security arrangements affecting spectators will be communicated."

The match begins at the Flanders Expo on November 27.

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