The ITF Asian under-14 Development Championships in Pune which was set to feature Pakistan among other nations, has been moved out of India. The event, scheduled to be held from April 27 to May 11, has been shifted to Tashkent, Uzbekistan, with a delay of one week.
This comes close on the heels of India giving up its rights to host the Asia-Oceania Final Qualifying rounds of the Junior Davis Cup (April 8 to 14) and Junior Fed Cup (April 15 to 20), more a pre-emptive measure to avoid a situation in which the Indian government could have refused visas to Pakistani athletes following the terror attack in Pulwama in February.
It is learnt that after the All India Tennis Association (AITA) wrote to the Asian Tennis Federation seeking a shift in venue from Delhi for the Davis Cup and Fed Cup, the ITF, by the end of February, alerted the member nations in the Asia-Oceania region, about the possibility of the events not taking place in India, owing to "unforeseen circumstances."
This ensured that the teams delayed making their travel plans to India and soon after, the ITF announced the shift of the events from Delhi to Nonthaburi, Thailand.
"It must have been more a precautionary measure," an AITA source told Sportstar . "Agreeing to host and then backing out at the last moment may have led to sanctions from the ITF. With there being political uncertainty, this seems the best move."
"Also these events are not marketable. So we need to raise funds from public sector companies. With the elections looming everyone is busy and it is tough to get funding sanctioned," the source added.
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