Argentine tennis player Franco Feitt has been given a lifetime ban by the International Tennis Federation for his role in match fixing. The IFT, or the Independent Television Commission of Sport, decided to suspend Feitt following a finding of six match fixing incidents that took place between him and fellow Frenchman Stefano Pellizzari. The incidents took place during the 2021 U.S. Open in Miami. The suspension does not include the Italian open clay event, which was a men’s singles event. However, the IFT annouce the two players’ roles in each incident as being a match fixing system, specifically one in which Feitt pay Pellizzari to help influence a match.
Franco Feitt was given the match fixing penalty following a point loss at the second set in the singles tournament. Feitt, then serving in the tie break, came back out with a serve that nearly won the game for Argentina. After being disqualified for foot fault, Pellizzari then greet the decision of the umpire to deduct two points from his win. The decision, resulting in the deduction of two points from Pellizzari’s win total. This is when the IFT agree to suspend Franco Feitt for life.
The IFT cited two separate incidents as the basis for this decision. Firstly, Franco Feitt had requested a controversial overhand serve in a tournament match. The result of this request was the disqualification of the Argentina participant for a potential breach of the rules. This served as the basis for the lifetime ban.
The IFT claims that it has proof that Pellizzari knew about the match fixing beforehand. This is an argument that, at least in my opinion, lacks merit. How could someone know about something if they didn’t know about it? Further, did the IFT have evidence of improper conduct from any of the players? Again, no evidence. Yet another example of how the world of tennis can sometimes be too cut and dry.
In conclusion, it is important to remember that while a world number three might fail to win the match; he or she could have lose the match. This is why it is very important to be able to prove a negative, whether it is innocence or guilt, and not carve into the controversy. The sport of tennis needs to take a stand, and make sure it is firmly committed to stopping match fixing from continuing.