ITF snubs AITA, refuses to postpone or move Pakistan Davis Cup tie

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India’s non-playing captain Mahesh Bhupathi stated that the gamers had been “not comfortable” in crossing the border at a time when bilateral relations have deteriorated. (Express Photo by Prashant Natkar/File)

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) on Wednesday rejected the All India Tennis Association’s (AITA) plea to either shift India’s upcoming Davis Cup tie in Pakistan to a impartial venue, or to delay it by two months. Instead, the world physique asserted its satisfaction with the safety preparations the Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) has made for the competition scheduled in Islamabad subsequent month.

“The ITF is simply not listening to us,” says AITA secretary normal Hironmoy Chatterjee. “What they’ve executed is share the small print of the safety preparations that will likely be there in Pakistan. Basically, the Indian staff’s motion from the airport to the lodge, to the venue and again.

“The ITF feels that the arrangements made do not warrant the tie to be shifted to a neutral venue,” Chatterjee provides.

On Tuesday, AITA had written to ITF arguing that the breakdown in political ties between the 2 neighbours has made it unsafe for the Indian staff to travel throughout the border. The AITA listed eight causes for the ITF to take into account within the letter – citing the “downgraded diplomatic relations,” railway and highway hyperlinks being severed between the 2 international locations together with Pakistan shutting off its air area to Indian planes, no Indian Ambassador in Pakistan anymore, and an “undercurrent of tension in Pakistan.”

Read | Players have grave concerns about going to Pakistan: Former AITA president Karti Chidambaram

The ITF, in flip, has granted AITA a telephonic assembly with its safety advisors on Monday. “We will explain to them our view and decide if we want to push for another venue,” Chatterjee says. “We are also going to involve our Davis Cup captain Mahesh Bhupathi for the meeting. He’s already listing what he wants to say.”

Bhupathi, on behalf of the gamers, had written to AITA asking the Indian federation to push the ITF to move the tie to a impartial venue after political ties between the 2 international locations worsened over the Kashmir situation.

ITF, although, has asserted that the organisers in Pakistan have handed all safety checks the world physique had put in place for a Davis Cup tie, and refused to move the tie to a impartial venue.

Also Read | International Tennis Federation unable to understand risk

“The entire security arrangement is in the hands of the Pakistan government,” Chatterjee says. “We are at their mercy. It’ll take only one phone call for all those security arrangements to be cancelled. The relations between the two countries are not healthy. Nobody, in any sport right now, would be safe to travel there.”

The AITA had additionally written to the ITF citing a precedent of suspending a Davis Cup tie. In September 2001, India was scheduled to compete in opposition to the United States in North Carolina, simply after the 9/11 assaults. The ITF subsequently delayed the tie by a month.

“Indian Team was already in USA (when) the unfortunate incident of 9/11 took place. Although there was no further security threat in USA or at North Carolina where the Davis Cup tie was to be held, it was decided by the ITF considering the overall mood in USA that it will not be appropriate to go ahead with the tie. ITF postponed the Davis Cup tie between India and USA even though there was no further security threat,” Chatterjee wrote.

“In view of the current situation ITF should follow the example it had set up in the tie between India and USA and postpone this particular Davis Cup Tie for two months by which time the matters would have stabilised and the atmosphere will be conducive for holding a friendly tie.”

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