Davis Cup final: Belgium v Great Britain 'will go on'

By Russell FullerBBC tennis correspondent
Andy Murray
World number two Andy Murray is due to lead the Great Britain team in the Davis Cup final

Great Britain's Davis Cup final against Belgium "will go on" despite the terror threats affecting Brussels, says the Flemish Tennis Federation (FTF).

The final is due to start on Friday in Ghent, 35 miles from Belgian capital Brussels, which is under the country's highest security alert.

The British team delayed their flight to Belgium from Sunday to Monday because of the security situation.

"Everything is continuing because we believe it will go on," said the FTF.

Gijs Kooken, chief executive of the FTF, which is staging the event, is in regular contact with the Belgian government and told BBC Sport that he has "not yet had a signal that it's not safe to organise the event".

He added: "It is an event with international exposure, with 13,000 spectators a day, so it is a risk event, of course, in the current situation - but I'm very confident in our government.

"Of course you never can predict what will happen next, but I would be surprised if it was cancelled.

"I'm quite confident that we will play next weekend."

The International Tennis Federation has said it is "greatly concerned" by developments but that preparations for the tie will continue.

The alert level in Ghent is category three, the same as London, and sporting events including the Ghent Six, a large annual cycling competition, have been held in the city this weekend.

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Russell Fuller is the BBC's tennis correspondent

Brussels entered a second day of a security lockdown on Sunday, and Belgium prime minister Charles Michel said at 18:00 GMT that the threat level for the capital city would stay at level four for Monday.

He also confirmed that Metro services would remain suspended on Monday, with all schools and universities closed and residents told to avoid crowds.

The maximum security alert in the capital will remain in place as Belgian police and security services hunt for suspects linked to the Paris attacks and those said to be planning a similar attack in Belgium.

Great Britain reached the Davis Cup final for the first time since 1978 with victory over Australia. They last won the event in 1936.

Belgium reached their first final in 111 years by beating Argentina.

The tie, which runs from Friday, 27 November to Sunday, 29 November, will be played on clay courts at the 13,000-seat Flanders Expo, which is sold out for all three days - more than 1,000 British fans are due to be at the final.

Britain's squad of Andy Murray, Jamie Murray, Kyle Edmund, Dominic Inglot and James Ward practised on the indoor clay courts at Queen's Club in west London on Sunday.

They are due to practice for the first time on the clay at the Flanders Expo on Monday afternoon, and will have very tight security as they travel between the court and their hotel.

Some of the backroom staff are already in Belgium, but many British fans have expressed their unease about travelling to, and staying in Ghent, with the terror threat in Belgium at such a high level.

Sniffer dogs and explosive experts will be patrolling the venue, and spectators - who can expect to be body searched - will have to leave all bags in lockers outside the entrance.