The All India Tennis Association (AITA) has stuck to its stance that security concerns still remain an issue in Pakistan after the world governing body International Tennis Federation (ITF) sought a fresh response from India following Pakistan‘s appeal against shifting of the Davis Cup tie to a neutral venue.
There still remains question marks over the venue for the November 29-30 tie, which was shifted out of Islamabad by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) on security grounds.
Paying heed to the AITA’s requests, the ITF had taken the decision to shift the venue which prompted the Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) to challenge the move. In response, the ITF reached out to AITA on Monday.
“The ITF has sought our response on Pakistan’s appeal. Our stand has not changed. We still feel that security concerns remain in Pakistan for our players and neutral venue is a better option. We will convey this to the ITF on Tuesday. ITF will let us know a final decision by November 18,” AITA secretary Hironmoy Chatterjee told PTI.
According to the PTF, the peaceful opening of the Kartarpur corridor on Saturday is a clear indicator that it is safe to host the Indian tennis team in Islamabad despite diplomatic tensions between the two nations.
PTF President Salim Saifullah Khan has said they will explore other options in case the ITF rejects their appeal. “We may tell the ITF that we’ll not nominate the neutral venue. We’ll request it to ask AITA to choose where its outfit wants to play,” Saifullah said.
If the ITF decision comes on November 18, the AITA will face practical difficulties in making travel arrangements, including procuring visas, within four days.
AITA would like to send its players at least five days before the tie to acclimatise to the conditions which means the selected ones must reach the venue by November 25.
The development further delays the selection of the Indian squad since confusion remains as to who will play the tie.