US sanctions mean Iranian referee can't work at the Open

Adel Borghei, who has umpired tennis tournaments in more than 30 countries, says this should not be about politics but they're mixing up politics and sports

updated: June 12, 2014 15:24 IST
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In May, the Iranian tennis referee Adel Borghei received confirmation that he had secured a coveted slot at the U.S. Open. "Congratulations," the letter started.

Borghei booked his travel, obtained a visa and worked several other tournaments until he arrived in the United States. He was scheduled to start work at the Open on Tuesday, in the qualifying rounds. Instead, he is in Florida, in limbo, unable to fulfill what he described as a dream assignment because of U.S. sanctions against Iran.

In an email sent on behalf of Rich Kaufman, director of officials, the U.S. Tennis Association said "current United States law" prohibited the Open from "retaining the services of a resident of Iran." The email included an apology and expressed a hope that Borghei could work a future Open.

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