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FFT announces UNICEF initiative for Ukrainians, says more tennis aid efforts being organized
The federation is contributing 150,000 Euros in aid and has opened its facilities to players such as Dayana Yastremska.
Published Mar 07, 2022
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The French tennis federation (FFT) is launching aid initiatives to help Ukrainians affected by the Russian invasion of the country, with more expected from the Grand Slams and tours in the next few days.
The president of the FFT, Gilles Moretton, was quoted by L'Equipe as saying that the federation had started an UNICEF appeal for donations and was contributing 150,000 Euros in aid.
"We have also opened our facilities to welcome young Ukrainians who play tennis," said Moretton.
This includes 21-year-old WTA player Dayana and 15-year-old Ivanna Yastremska, who fled the country during the start of the invasion. "I know Dayana has a wild card request for Indian Wells, but if she does not get it she can come to the CNE," he said.
Yastremska, who could not compete in the first half of 2021 due to a provisional anti-doping suspension that was eventually lifted upon appeal, also received a wild card into Lyon, but prior to the start of the conflict. Yastremska reached the final of Lyon, and announced that she would be donating her prize money to her country.
Moretton indicated that wild cards were not going to be a deliberate part of the federation's aid efforts.
"It is a possible gesture of solidarity. But we will not give them to give them. There will always have to be a sporting rationale," he said. "But we will be focusing on collecting donations and welcoming young Ukrainians.
"We could go through the [Ukrainian tennis] federation, but it is difficult to know where it is... so by going through UNICEF, we can be sure of the product of our actions."
Moretton would also note that the T7 organizations—the Grand Slams, ITF and ATP and WTA Tours—plan to announce more aid efforts.