ISLAMABAD, Aug 21 (APP):Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) said on Wednesday that it would accept whatever decision International Tennis Federation (ITF) would take in the matter of Pakistan’s Davis Cup tie against arch-rival India.
“We are an ITF member nation and will honour whatever decision the game’s global governing body will take about holding the Davis Cup,” President PTF Salim Saifullah told APP.
Pakistan is scheduled to host India in the Davis Cup Asia Oceania Group-I Tie on September 14-15 at the grass courts of Pakistan Sports Complex, Islamabad, where ties against Uzbekistan, Korea and Thailand took place in 2017 and 2018.
The All India Tennis Association (AITA) had expressed concerns at security and last week asked the ITF to shift the tie from Islamabad to some neutral venue or postpone it for a couple of months until the current tensions between the two countries subside. The ITF Davis Cup committee is scheduled to meet later today (Wednesday) to hold deliberations on the matter and a decision to shift the event or otherwise may be communicated to the two countries on Thursday.
The PTF President doubted AITA intentions stating that it was pressing ITF while taking advantage of the prevailing situation. “The reality is that they had not applied for visas of their squad yet. The decision to send the team or not may be taken later on but at least you should initiate the visa process. On our part, we have been reminding them time and again much before the current situation to apply for visas but they did not take our request seriously.
“Actually, for the past few months they’ve been trying to shift the event to a neutral venue. But ITF was not allowing that, especially after watching us successfully holding four to five international events, including the Davis Cup ties (against Uzbekistan, Korea and Thailand).”
The PTF President recalled that when in 2009 Australia decided not to send its team to Chennai for Davis Cup tie, the ITF declared India winner while imposing fine on it (Australia). “Islamabad is fully secure to hold all sort of events but unfortunately India is looking for excuses,” he reckoned.
An ITF team earlier this month visited Islamabad and expressed full satisfaction at the safety plan and other arrangements for the tie.
“Now we are offering them for another round of security assessment. The embassies of all countries are present in Pakistan and they may also tell them that Islamabad is a peaceful city and secure from all respects.”
The PTF President was of the view that Indian government would have asked AITA not to send their team to Pakistan. To a question he said that if the tie is postponed for a couple of months as proposed by AITA, the PTF would have no objections. “Yes, it is possible we can wait till the things settle down between the two countries. But the first option is that the tie should take place in Islamabad as per schedule,” he maintained.