CARACAS, Venezuela: Venezuela, which is in the throes of a major economic crisis, on Tuesday announced its withdrawal from Fed Cup competition in 2018, saying it did not have the “necessary resources” to participate.
The move by the Venezuelan Tennis Federation means that the country will be relegated to Americas Group II next year.In a statement, the federation said it would not be attending the Americas Group I round-robin event on February 7-10 in Asuncion, at which it was to face off with Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala and host Paraguay.
It said the team could not compete after not receiving any word from the country’s sports ministry, which was responsible for approving payment of the foreign currency needed to attend.
“We recognize the efforts made by sports authorities, but this time, their support was not possible. We apologize to the country’s tennis family,” federation president Luis Contreras said in the statement.
The money woes also called into question Venezuela’s participation in the men’s Davis Cup competition, the statement said, without offering further details.Venezuela is set to battle Guatemala in an Americas Group II first round tie in early February.
“New opportunities will come,” Contreras said.Falling oil prices, spiralling inflation and political unrest have decimated Venezuela’s economy. And the sports world has not been immune.In 2017, the country’s volleyball, fencing and softball teams were unable to attend international tournaments when airlines fled the country, leaving them without a way to reach their destinations.