PTF rules out shifting of Davis Cup tie against India to neutral venue

PTF chief Salim Saifullah said the federation was making all the preparations to host the tie at the Islamabad Sports Complex.

The Indian Tennis Federation (ITF) has said it will ask the International Tennis Federation to move the Davis Cup tie to a neutral venue.   -  AP Photo

The Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) on Sunday ruled out shifting the Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group-1 tie against India to be played in Islamabad on September 14-15 to a neutral venue.

PTF chief Salim Saifullah said the federation was making all the preparations to host the tie at the Islamabad Sports Complex.

“We are sticking to our original programme of hosting the tie on 14-15 September and I don’t see any problem or reason for the Indian team to feel unsafe to come to Islamabad,” Saifullah said.

The escalating tension between the two countries in the aftermath of the Indian government’s scrapping of Article 370 that accorded special status to Jammu and Kashmir has made the tie uncertain.

The Indian Tennis Federation (ITF) has said it will ask the International Tennis Federation to move the Davis Cup tie to a neutral venue.

Security beefed up

But Saifullah said the Indian tennis team will be perfectly safe in Pakistan.

“They will stay for four days in Islamabad, which is a safe city. We have made top-level security arrangements for them at their hotel and the venue. So what is the problem for them to play in Islamabad? If they want, we will not even have spectators for the tie,” he said.

Saifullah said the ITF has not yet contacted the PTF on shifting the tie to a neutral venue.

He said the tie was very important for Pakistan in terms of promoting tennis in the country and earning revenue.

He said the PTF was already in touch with the ministries concerned to ensure the Davis Cup tie was held on schedule.

“As it is, after a long time we have started hosting our Davis Cup ties at home,” the PTF chief noted.