Ireland’s Davis Cup tie in Peru, dubbed the country’s biggest for 40 years, will go ahead as planned despite ongoing political arrest in the South American country which has claimed dozens of lives.
Clashes between protesters and police have been taking place for two months now with the latest reported fatality bringing to 58 the number of people killed in the wake of the impeachment and arrest last month of President Pedro Castillo.
Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs has advised citizens to avoid non-essential travel to Peru. Lima, the capital, is just one area in the country where a month-long state of emergency has been imposed while access to the city’s international airport is also restricted.
It is understood that Tennis Ireland discussed the situation in Peru with the International Tennis Federation (ITF), as well as with Sport Ireland, but that the possibility of moving or delaying the World Group I playoff was rejected late last week.
The Irish body had also been working with the ITF and with their colleagues in the Peru Federation for a number of weeks to implement what they termed “robust safety measures” for the team and all those involved in the travelling party.
The team’s non-playing captain, Conor Niland, has not travelled due to personal reasons while the original team of five players is now down to four and consists of Simon Carr, Osgar O’hOisin, Michael Agwi and Jack Molloy.
Niland’s role is being filled for the trip by Cian Blake, Tennis Ireland’s performance director for Munster. The team would move up to compete at the tier just below the sport’s top nations should they win this week.
The tie is to be played as the best of five matches, including singles and doubles, over two days on the clay courts at the Estadio Asia, which is 120km outside Lima.
Ireland secured this rare chance by winning their World Group II tie 3-2 against Barbados in Georgetown last September.