The Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) has filed an appeal against the International Tennis Federation's decision of shifting the Pakistan-India Davis Cup tie from Islamabad to a neutral venue. PTF, in its petition, asks why a 10-member tennis team can’t visit Pakistan when thousands of Indian Sikh pilgrims can?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the 4.2 km-long Kartarpur Sahib Corridor on 9 November. The first lot of pilgrims will visit Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan’s Punjab province, on the occasion of the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev, that falls on 12 November.
"Every year, many Sikhs come here (to Pakistan). A large number of Indian Sikhs are all set to visit the country for celebrating the 550th birthday anniversary of the founder of Sikhism, Baba Guru Nanak in the next few days." PTF president Salim Saifullah had said on Wednesday while talking to Dawn.
"“Considering this, why is a 10-member Davis Cup team comprising players and officials reluctant to visit Pakistan?”" - Salim Saifullah, President, Pakistan Tennis Federation
Terming the ITF decision to shift the venue of the much-awaited Davis Cup tie highly disappointing, Salim had said after filing the appeal with the ITF on Thursday, that the PTF would decide about the neutral venue.
On 4 November, the ITF shifted the Davis Cup tie from Islamabad to a neutral venue and also said that the matches would be held on 29 and 30 November.
"Following the review of the latest advice given by the ITF's independent security advisors, the Davis Cup Committee has taken the decision that the Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group I tie between Pakistan and India on November 29-30 must be played at a neutral venue." the ITF had said.
It further stated that as per the Davis Cup regulations, "the Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) has the choice to nominate a neutral venue and has five working days to confirm the proposed venue. The venue will be announced once the choice has been submitted or approved."
The postponement had come in the wake of pleas from India to shift the tie to a neutral venue or postpone it given the heightened tensions between the two countries.
The tie was earlier scheduled to be held on 14-15 September but was postponed to November after a security review by the ITF in August.
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