The Moroccan team in the men’s wheelchair tennis World Team Cup competition boycotted a scheduled match with Israel’s team on Thursday, reportedly at the request of their country’s national Paralympic committee.

This is a sad day for sports, and an even sadder day for Paralympic sports,” said the Israeli team’s coach, Nimrod Bichler, according to the Jerusalem Post. “Politics have mixed with sports in the past, but Paralympic sports were always different.”

Israel was given a default 3-0 victory as a result of Morocco’s no-show in Tokyo, and faces Poland in the fifth-place match on Friday.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) told the Jerusalem Post, “The ITF was established to, among other things, preserve the integrity and independence of tennis as a sport, and to do so without unfair discrimination on the grounds of color, race, nationality, ethnic or national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or religion. In light of the report that the Moroccan team failed to play a scheduled match against Israel in Men’s World Group II of the ITF Wheelchair World Team Cup, we will contact the Moroccan Tennis Federation as a matter of urgency to establish the facts of this situation, and we will follow the relevant ITF Wheelchair regulations and the ITF Constitution, as necessary, to determine the appropriate action.”


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