ITF rejects Pakistan?s appeal, Davis Cup tie to be played in Kazakhstan

KARACHI: International Tennis Federation (ITF) has rejected Pakistan’s appeal regarding choice of ground for Davis Cup tie against India on Tuesday.In an official communication, ITF stated that Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) had appealed against the Davis Cup Committee’s decision to move the tie from Islamabad. “The appeal was dismissed by an independent tribunal. Further to the decision of the PTF not to nominate a neutral venue, in accordance with Davis Cup regulations, the Davis Cup Committee has voted in favour of the tie being hosted by the ITF on neutral ground at the National Tennis Centre in Nur-Sultan (previously Astana), Kazakhstan, on 29-30 November,” stated ITF.It is to be noted that PTF was to host this Asia/Oceania Group-I tie in Islamabad in September. But ITF moved this tie to a neutral venue, expressing security concerns.Pakistan’s top tennis players Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi and Aqeel Khan have refused to play on a neutral venue in protest against this decision.Aisam in his letter to PTF stated that it was sad to learn that ITF had decided to hold the tie outside Pakistan at a neutral venue “under Indian influence. The attitude towards Pakistan of both All Indian Tennis Association and ITF is highly deplorable,” stated Aisam.“If the excuse was the tension between India and Pakistan due to what Indians have done in Kashmir then why should we be penalised for their wrongdoing.“If ITF does not correct their wrong decision then as a protest against this unjust, unfair and biased decision I want to raise my voice and hereby announce not to participate in this tie if it takes place outside Pakistan.“I must stress that I am always very passionate about representing my country in Davis Cup ties but this time around it is more important that I stand up for the honour and dignity of my country by refusing to accept an incorrect, unjust and undesirable decision,” said Aisam.Former Davis Cup Captain Hameed-ul-Haq said Aisam and Aqeel took the right decision and that Pakistan should now send a junior team to play the tie as a protest.

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