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Myanmar cancels Davis Cup events over security concerns

John Isner of the U.S. returns the ball to David Ferrer of Spain during their Davis Cup World Group semi-final match in Gijon, northern Spai
John Isner of the U.S. returns the ball to David Ferrer of Spain during their Davis Cup World Group semi-final match in Gijon, northern Spai

(Reuters) - Myanmar has decided to opt out of hosting two Davis Cup events due to security concerns following last month's anti-Muslim riots, the head of the country's tennis association said on Tuesday.

Myanmar was to host the 2013 Asia/Oceania Zone Group III and IV events from April 22-May 5 in Yangon where 19 nations were set to take part.

Sectarian violence in Buddhist-majority Myanmar killed 43 people last month. Thousands, mostly Muslims, were driven from their homes and businesses as bloodshed spread across the Southeast Asian country.

"The government informed us on April 13 that we will need to postpone the events due to security reasons," Aung Maw Thein, president of the Tennis Federation of Myanmar, told Reuters.

"While the sports ministry did not divulge the details, I think it was because of last month's problems."

Players from a number of Muslim countries like Malaysia, Bahrain and Iraq were scheduled to play in the event and the International Tennis Federation has not yet decided on alternative dates and a venue.

The world governing body could not be reached for comment.

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Ed Osmond)

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