Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Posted at: Aug 14, 2019, 7:31 AM; last updated: Aug 14, 2019, 7:31 AM (IST)DAVIS CUP

AITA wants tie against Pak to be postponed or shifted

Vinayak Padmadeo

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 13

The All India Tennis Association (AITA) has written to the International Tennis Federation (ITF) to either shift the Davis Cup Group I tie against Pakistan or postpone it for a later date. The Indian federation has also requested for a meeting with the ITF board where it thinks it will be able to explain the ground situation.

This development comes on the same day when ITF said that it was satisfied with the security situation in Pakistan.

AITA believes that the growing tension between the neighbouring countries poses a security risk to its traveling party. “We have written a letter to ITF and have asked them to either postpone or shift the tie,” AITA secretary Hironmoy Chatterjee told The Tribune.

“We also want an opportunity to explain our stance directly in front of the ITF board. And now we wait for their reply based on which we will decide what to do in the coming days,” he added.

Earlier in the day, ITF said that the risk rating for Pakistan has not changed. “Safety and security are ITF’s highest priority. We are working closely with the host nation and independent expert security advisors — ITF is satisfied with their current security assessment of the site and the security plan in place,” ITF said in a statement.

“The overall security risk rating for Pakistan has not changed, however, we will continue to monitor the situation closely with our advisors,” the statement further said.

ITF’s statement was a response to AITA’s request on Saturday for a reassessment of security scenario. 

‘Ground reality is different’

Chatterjee today said that ITF’s assessment was without factoring in the ground realities. “ITF’s stance is based only about what will happen around the team’s stay and its movement around the venue — that part of security. But the situation on the ground is much worse. They have closed the air space over Pakistan, the trains have been cancelled and there is a complete breakdown in relations… they have also expelled our ambassador and suspended all bilateral ties. Considering all this we have put in a request,” Chatterjee said.

For security reasons, Pakistan was forced to host Davis Cup ties at a neutral venue for over a decade now. It was after a long time in 2017 that they hosted a tie, against Iran. But even then, Hong Kong refused to travel. Elsewhere, in 2014, Israel’s home tie against Argentina was shifted to Florida because of Gaza conflict.


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