Members of the International Lawn Tennis Federation (ILTF) met in London, at the Hilton Hotel, on Saturday (26 January) and decided that they would not ban tennis players, signed up by the new world Tennis Team (WTT), as long as four conditions were fulfilled.
GV Hilton Hotel
GV Interior, delegates seated facing official at table
SC mr. Heyman (Denmark) left, and Mr. Reay (centre)
LV Pan delegates
CU Nigerian delegate
CU Sri Lanka delegate
CU Mr. Heyman speaks
"I don't know what's going to happen today, it's a very serious situation, and, or, I'm bound to say this that tennis which used to be a game in which everyone was delighted to participate has now become a power struggle among American financial interests. This is something which we seek to avoid and I personally would hate to see that tennis goes to the United States in the same way golf has already done.
Initials SC/2322 SC/018
SPORT: LAWN TENNIS
The chairman of ILTF, Mr. Heyman, told delegates of his fears.
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Background: Members of the International Lawn Tennis Federation (ILTF) met in London, at the Hilton Hotel, on Saturday (26 January) and decided that they would not ban tennis players, signed up by the new world Tennis Team (WTT), as long as four conditions were fulfilled. The conditions were:
1. No WTT event should be played during the major ILTF tournaments, including Wimbledon.
2. All WTT players must be free to play for their countries in Davis and Federation cups.
3. All WTT events must be played within the rules of lawn tennis.
4. WTT players must be free to play in the official national championships of their country.
There is also provision for the ILTF committee of management to make whatever other conditions it thinks necessary.
The Chairman of ILTF, Mr. Allan Heyman, from Denmark, warned that if any of the clauses were broken, or if agreement wasn't reached there could be 'a complete explosion in the game'.
The Extraordinary General Meeting of the Federation met for six hours to decide what to do in the face of the recent establishment of the WTT. Delegates from sixty countries were present, including Nigeria and Sri Lanka. Before the meeting, the Secretary of the Federation, Mr. Basil Reay, from Britain, said they would take "any action necessary for the good of the game"
Some countries stated their position in advance of the get-together. Among those which had said they would press for a ban on WTT players were France, Italy and Sweden. Britain had said she would not support a Lan and the United States said that she would accept WTT in return for a fee. The players' trade union, the Association of Tennis Professionals, said its members would not play with members of WTT.
Among those who have already signed for WTT are John Newcombe, Ken Rosewall and Billie Jean King. WTT has announced a programme of matches from May to September in the United States and Canada. Gaps will be left to fit in the Championships in France and Italy, and Wimbledon. This does not fulfill all the conditions which have now been placed upon WTT by the ILTF.
SYNOPSIS: In London, at the Hilton Hotel, delegates to the International Lawn Tennis Federation held an Extraordinary General Meeting on Saturday.
Official had called the meeting to discuss the threat posed by the recent formation of the World Tennis Team in the United States
Tournaments throughout the world are likely to be affected if WTT members restrict where they can play.
The delegated decided to ban WTT players unless certain conditions were fulfilled. The Chairman of the Federation, Mr. Allan Heyman spelled out their fears.