London | Nastase banned for sexism
Ilie Nastase has finally learnt his fate following his foul-mouthed tirade during last April’s Romanian Fed Cup tie with Britain in Bucharest which included derogatory remarks about Serena Williams’ baby and abusive language directed at Anne Keothavong and Jo Konta of the British team, as well as the umpire, Andreas Egli.
As a consequence, Nastase, the Romanian captain, was escorted off the premises by security staff and banned from any further involvement in the tie including access to the venue which he later flaunted!
Now the ITF have banned him from all ITF competitions until December 2020 and fined him £7,700 having found him guilty of ‘advances of a sexual nature’ and issuing ‘abusive and threatening comments’ to the British team, match officials and the press.
While the 71-year-old will not be able to attend any ITF competition in any official capacity, including arriving as a spectator, the ban does not apply to the ATP Tour nor the WTA Tour, or even the Grand Slams as they have their own regulations despite the ITF being the sport’s international governing body!
Nastase could therefore be welcomed at any Tour event and was by Ion Tiriac who invited him to present the prize at the Women’s Madrid Open just weeks later.
The incident and reaction highlights one of the problems which exists in the sport these days, a lack of cohesion by the organisers of the various factions ruling their respective fiefdoms.
The ITF ruling which was released on Friday, states: “On 20 April, during his speech at the official dinner, Mr Nasatse put his arm around Great Britain captain Anne Keothavong and asked he for her hotel room number.
“Mrs Keothavong responded to Mr Nastase’s request with words to the effect that she was married, to which Mr Nastase replied, “So am I, four times’”
It also refers to the comment he made about Serena William’s unborn child. “Mr Nastase made a comment in Romanian to another Romanian team member about Ms Williams unborn child which has been translated as ‘Let’s see what colour it is, Chocolate with milk?’” That was deemed ““highly inappropriate and racially insensitive”.
He subsequently sparked outrage during the actual tie when he was reported to have called Konta and Keothavong ‘F…ing bitches’ reducing the British No1 to tears, and later abusing a British member of the press for reporting the incident, calling her ‘stupid and ‘ugly’ amongst other things.