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AITA to request postponement of Pakistan Davis Cup tie

The All India Tennis Association (AITA) is likely to request the International Tennis Federation (ITF) to explore the possibility of postponing next month’s India-Pakistan Davis Cup tie to a later date.

With the Asia/Oceania Group 1 tie scheduled to be held in Islamabad on September 14 and 15, the AITA had on Monday written to the parent body seeking a “security review” since relations between both countries are currently strained following the revocation of Article 370 involving Jammu & Kashmir.

In a statement to Reuters on Tuesday, the ITF was quoted to have said that they are “satisfied” with the current safety plan in place in Pakistan.

The Indian tennis body is likely to get on a call with the ITF to brief the body about the current grim on-ground scenario since diplomatic ties between both countries stand downgraded, with bilateral trade also suspended and the Indian envoy to Pakistan having been sent back.

“The situation is pretty bad,” AITA secretary Hiranmoy Chatterjee told ESPN. “We cannot obviously travel to Pakistan in a scenario where we don’t even have an ambassador in the country. Our players have also expressed their reservations.

“ITF’s response to our review request may have pertained largely to the venue arrangements. We will brief them in greater detail about the war-like situation both countries are locked in and ask them to explore the possibility of shifting the tie or postponing it to a later date. Our next tie is only in February 2020 so there is time. Also, postponements have taken place in the past. So it’s not without precedent.”

Indeed, following the terror attacks in USA in September 2001, the World Group Round 1 tie between India and USA, which was scheduled to take place in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, was pushed back to October from the original schedule of September. Similarly, USA’s World Group Round 1 tie against Mexico was rescheduled from February to March 1991 because of the Gulf War.

India’s final stance on the matter will rest with the AITA, since the government has categorically stated that it stay will away from any sort of intervention given that it’s not a bilateral sporting engagement. The Pakistan Tennis Federation on its part has maintained that it is ready to host the tie and has ruled out the neutral venue option.

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