The final indignity of the CAT AGM for me was having dinner alone while the Gala dinner was taking place 100 metres away with 80+ people.
In the two days sitting in my makeshift office, the ITF President, Dave Haggerty passed within 10 feet of me over 20 times without even acknowledging my presence with a hello. I know he is a candidate and competing in the election with me, but he is also the current president and I am a nominated candidate and official representative of a three vote member nation that has played Davis Cup since 1923. My grandfather was actually a member of the first team! I think I deserve to be treated a bit better than this. If I was President of ITF I would never behave like this.
I keep asking myself, what happened in Paris between when the President of CAT and I spoke whilst watching the semi finals, and being told I could not attend? We talked about our arrival plans in Madagascar. Then 36 hours later CAT sent an official letter informing me that I could not attend. Something appears not right about this. What pressure was brought on CAT to prevent me attending? It is more confusing and difficult to understand when I now know that three of the CAT board of five zonal presidents have written disagreeing with the CAT President’s decision.
It was not easy to take this treatment but I tried to stay positive, polite and strong throughout and it was great to meet and to talk with so many of the presidents and people I worked with for African tennis during 25 years, and also the people that I hired to work at the ITF like James McGurran, Luca Santilli, Amine Ben Makluf and Thierri Ntwali. Another positive was that I also got a lot of work done (ironically proofing my manifesto) while sitting in Reception.
Back to London tonight. A little rest but not for long. Next week I will visit three more nations. It’s hard to hit a moving target!