Romanian tennis legend Ilie Nastase, who was banned from International Tennis Federation events for three years after his negative behavior at the Fed Cup tie in Romania earlier this year, will be the Czech Republic's honorary consul in Romania, reports The Telegraph.
His new post will be based in the Romanian seaside city of Constanta.
"I trust Mr. Nastase," said the Czech foreign minister Lubomir Zaoralek. "[In diplomacy] we have to weigh our words, and I think Mr. Nastase is fully aware of that. I am sure that his transfer from sports to diplomacy will be successful because I can see him as [a] person who realizes the responsibility he has in the new function."
In return, Nastase said that the nomination is a great honor.
The role of a honorary consul does not involve diplomatic immunity, nor does it usually involve a salary, reports Prague Daily Monitor. Its main purpose is to promote the economic, business and cultural interests of the Czech Republic and develop the mutual relations in these areas.
Ilie Nastase, a former Roland Garros and US Open winner and an ATP number one in the 1970s, was suspended from acting in an official capacity in official International Tennis Federation (ITF) team competitions, individual competitions, and official ITF tennis circuits until December 31, 2020, the federation decided in July. He will also be denied access to, and not granted accreditation for the ITF competitions and circuits until December 31, 2018.
The ITF’s sanctions came after Ilie Nastase’s negative behavior at the Fed Cup World Group II Playoffs tie between Romania and Great Britain, organized in April in Constanta at the Romanian seaside. Nastase was the Romanian team’s captain. During the event, he made advances of a sexual nature towards Anne Keothavong, the captain of the Great Britain team, and also made abusive and threatening comments to a member of the accredited press. He also made abusive and threatening comments to the match officials and to members of the Great Britain team, refused to leave the court, and deliberately interfered with the opposing team.
Before that, Nastase made a controversial statement about Serena Williams’ child, which was seen as being racist.
Irina Marica, [email protected]