The Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) has rejected International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) decision to shift its Davis Cup tie with India to a neutral venue, claiming it is well prepared to host the contest.
PTF has filed an appeal with the ITF challenging the decision with its president Salim Saifullah saying there’s no security concern and political ties between the two nations shouldn’t come in between.
“We have pointed out that we are fully prepared to host India for the Davis Cup tie as there is no security issue and nor should political ties between the two countries over-ride our chance of hosting a major event,” Saifullah told PTI.
Citing the opening ceremony of Kartarpur corridor on Saturday, Saifullah said, “I think our (PTF) case is very strong because there is no viable argument for shifting the tie to a neutral venue.”
The tie was earlier shifted from September to late November after India’s concerns over the safety of its players before AITA appealed ITF to shift the venue altogether, a demand which was accepted after recommendations from its independent security advisors.
Saifullah also said if their appeal was not accepted, the PTF had some other options and was working on those. “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,” he said.
The Indian officials based their arguments on the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl’s (JUI-F) ongoing sit-in in Islamabad to convince the ITF about their players inability to not be able to focus on the matches. “They highlighted to the ITF about JUI-F leadership’s aggressive attitude. We have a very good chance of beating India on our grass courts and the Indians know this that is why they are using all tactics to delay and shift the tie,” he said.