The Philippine Tennis Association (Philta) brushed off the recent decision of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) to either suspend or expel its membership for “long-standing governance failings.”
Philta said the decision—made by a tribunal body that started last July 8—lacked due process and is an attempt at “calibrated, senseless, destruction of Philippine Tennis.”
Either way, the decision is a big blow to Philippine tennis that right now is only starting to gain some ground following the successful stint of teenage wonder Alex Eala.
The 15-year-old put the country on the global tennis map after winning the Australian Open junior doubles crown early this year and making the semifinals of the French Open junior singles.
It could also jeopardize Philta’s standings with the Philippine Olympic Committee, which will elect its new set of officers next week.
Philta president Antonio Cablitas said in a statement on Friday that the ITF echoed the sentiments of a breakaway tennis body, the Unified Tennis of the Philippines led by former Philta chair Jean Henri Lhuillier.
In its annual general meeting held online on Friday, the ITF offered two options to take against Philta. One is to expel Philta, which would require a four-fifths majority to pass and was not recommended by the ITF board of directors.
The other is suspension, which would need approval from two-thirds of the general assembly, and one that the ITF board is leaning toward.
ITF said Philta will remain under sanction until it “addresses its governance failings in particular the valid election of president and trustees and the implementation of constitutional reforms to increase Philta’s membership and representations.”
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