Soweto Open cancelled over lack of money

2014-01-22 15:17

Tennis South Africa (TSA) has confirmed that the 2014 Soweto Open had been cancelled because of a lack of funding.

“Securing funding through grants and sponsorship to successfully host the tournament have not been possible despite a gallant effort by TSA,” the association said in a statement today.

“TSA has appreciated the support given by the sport and recreation minister, deputy minister and director-general to the game over the years.”

Earlier this week, TSA media consultant Bruce Davidson revealed that the Soweto Open, which was first staged in 2009, would not take place this year because of the absence of a sponsor.

The event for men and women was considered pivotal in the development of tennis in South Africa and, according to Davidson, required an annual sponsorship of about R8 million to stage as an ATP Challenger and ITF women’s tournament.

It was due to the lack of sponsorship that the Soweto Open was not held in 2012 and only a windfall from the government enabled it to be successfully revived last year.

However, TSA still hoped to secure sponsorship to host the Open this year.

“The international tennis bodies who control the professional men’s and women’s tour require a six-month notice on a date and venue for any internationally sanctioned event,” said the association.

“In November 2013, funding for a 2014 Soweto Open for the proposed date in April this year had not been secured.

“Should a suitable sponsor be found in the next four months to host a Soweto Open in 2014, TSA reserves the rights to once again host the tournament subject to the ATP, WTA and ITF confirming a date on the international calendar.”

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