ITF suspends tournaments in China amid Peng Shuai controversy



by   |  VIEW 9505

ITF suspends tournaments in China amid Peng Shuai controversy

The ITF has reportedly notified players that there won't be any ITF World Tour Tennis tournaments taking place in China next year amid the concern for Peng Shuai.

The WTA took a major stand against China last week when they suspended all tournaments in China for next year. The ITF released a statement shortly after the WTA but there was no mentioning of suspending tournaments in China.

"The International Tennis Federation, as the governing body of tennis, stands in support of all women’s rights," the ITF's statement from last week read. "Our primary concern remains Peng Shuai's well-being.

The allegations Peng made must be addressed. We will continue to support all efforts being made to that end, both publicly and behind the scenes."

No WTA or ITF tournaments in China amid the concern for Peng

"As a result, and with the full support of the WTA Board of Directors, I am announcing the immediate suspension of all WTA tournaments in China, including Hong Kong.

In good conscience, I don’t see how I can ask our athletes to compete there when Peng Shuai is not allowed to communicate freely and has seemingly been pressured to contradict her allegation of sexual assault. Given the current state of affairs, I am also greatly concerned about the risks that all of our players and staff could face if we were to hold events in China in 2022," WTA CEO Steve Simon said in a statement last week.

"I very much regret it has come to this point. The tennis communities in China and Hong Kong are full of great people with whom we have worked for many years. They should be proud of their achievements, hospitality and success.

However, unless China takes the steps we have asked for, we cannot put our players and staff at risk by holding events in China. China’s leaders have left the WTA with no choice. I remain hopeful that our pleas will be heard and the Chinese authorities will take steps to legitimately address this issue”.