Alijaz Bedene's appeal to the Internation Tennis Federation has been delayed until March of next year, the ITF announced today. The Slovenian-born Brit is hoping to have his ban for playing for Great Britain overturned, but he will have to wait a little longer.
Bedene may miss out on the 2016 Davis Cup
With his Davis Cup hopes in the balance, Bedene made a last minute appeal to the ITF to have his ineligbility overturned, and the decision was expected to have been made today at an hearing in Prague. However, on the day where Leon Smith named his provisional Davis Cup team, Bedene left disappointed.
He took to twitter straight after the result, 'Disappointed that the hearing with the ITF was postponed, I will keep my head held high,' he said on his official account.
Having already played for Slovenia in three dead rubbers, against Norway, Italy and Denmark, new ITF legislation ruled out players switching allegiances to another nation as of January of this year. Bedene and the Lawn Tennis Association maintain that they submitted the paperwork in time to make him eligble, however the ITF say the opposite.
In a statement on their website, the ITF said that the decision had been 'adjourned until the next ITF Board of Directors to be held on 20-21 March 2016,' meaning that Bedene would not be eligble in time for round one of next year's Davis Cup.
However, there seems to be some confusion, with the LTA claiming that the decision had been 'postponed.' They further reinforced their continuing support for Bedene and were hoping for a decision to be made before the first round.
Brits unite in support for Bedene
One crumb of comfort for Bedene is that he has continued to receive a huge amount of support from his fellow Brits, who have called for him to be allowed to play. Particularly vocal have been the Murray brothers, who have lamented the length of time the process has taken.