By Zjan Shirinian

A disturbance last week in Kiev's Independence Square has led to the Board concluding the security outlook in Ukraine is "fluid" ©Getty ImagesUkraine has been stripped of the right to host its Davis Cup tie in the country after a U-turn by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) over security fears.

The capital Kiev had been set to stage the contest with Belgium from September 12 to 14.

An ITF ruling just five days ago had given the green light for Ukraine to host the tie.

David Cup Committee chairman Juan Margets said it "was convinced that Kiev would provide a safe environment for the tie with Belgium".

But an appeal by the Belgian Tennis Federation forced the ITF to review their decision for the match to be played in a country which since March - when Crimea in the east was annexed by Russia - has been plagued by violence.

The ITF Board of Directors agreed today to reverse the decision.

"The Board noted that the original decision by the Davis Cup Committee had not been unanimous; and that while the recent political unrest had occurred in eastern Ukraine, a disturbance in Kiev's Independence Square as recently as last Thursday indicated that the security situation there was fluid," it said.

The Ukraine Tennis Federation (UTF) has been given until next Tuesday (August 19) to formally recommend a neutral venue.

It could be played in Belgium if the UTF chooses not to.

International Tennis Federation President Francesco Ricci Bitti said the decisions were difficult ©Getty ImagesInternational Tennis Federation President Francesco Ricci Bitti said the decisions were difficult ©Getty Images



The Board of Directors also considered an appeal by the Israel Tennis Association (ITA) into the decision to move Israel's Davis Cup tie with Argentina out of the country because of the ongoing conflict with Hamas.

Tel Aviv had been the planned location for the match, but it - nor any other part of Israel - will host the encounter.

"The Board agreed with the Davis Cup Committee that it was the ITF's duty to ensure the safety of players, officials and spectators, and that there was a lack of certainty as to the security situation in Israel at the date of the tie," the Board of Directors ruled.

The ITA has until Thursday (August 14) to suggest an alternative venue.

Part of the ITA's argument in its appeal to have the ruling overturned, lodged on Friday (August 8), was that Ukraine's Davis Cup tie tie had been allowed to go ahead, despite unrest in the country.

ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said: "It is always a very difficult decision for the ITF to take away choice of ground in Davis Cup by BNP Paribas.

"The competition was founded on the principles of better understanding among nations and we believe it has done a good job in fostering this over 114 years.

"However, the safety of players, officials and spectators has to take priority and the Board believed that it was not prudent to hold ties in Ukraine or Israel because of political unrest in these countries at the present time and for the foreseeable future."