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GB team are set for Davis Cup decider in Belgium

By Eleanor Crooks

The Great Britain team arrived safely in Belgium yesterday, with the Davis Cup final set to go ahead as planned despite the terror threat in Brussels.

Captain Leon Smith and his players landed around lunchtime at Flanders Airport and were due to practise 30 miles away at the 13,000-seat Flanders Expo in Ghent.

The team's journey had to be delayed by 24 hours as Brussels remains at the highest level of alert, amid threats of a terrorist attack similar to the ones that occurred in Paris.

The Davis Cup final, however, which starts on Friday, will take place in Ghent, 35 miles away from the capital city, and the ITF confirmed on Monday there were no plans to alter the event.

An ITF statement read: "The ITF and Royal Belgian Tennis Federation (RBTF), in consultation with the relevant officials and our risk assessment and security advisers, are closely monitoring the situation in Belgium and specifically in Ghent.

"As of today there are no changes to the previously published start times for the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Final between Belgium and Great Britain."

A number of additional security measures have been put in place for this weekend's tie, including a ban on bags and backpacks, as well as any food and drink, inside the Flanders Expo arena. Belgian prime minister Charles Michel announced the level of alert in the Brussels area would stay at category four after the issue was raised on Saturday because of a "serious and imminent" threat of attack.

The city's Metro system was shut all weekend and remained closed yesterday, along with schools and universities.

The alert level in Ghent is category three, the same as London, and sporting events there have been held this weekend including the Ghent Six, a large annual cycling competition.

Belfast Telegraph


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