Pak tennis body considers the ITF's decision to change the Davis Cup tie against India to a neutral place

KARACHI: The Pakistan Tennis Federation will hold a crucial meeting on Wednesday to decide whether to appeal the decision of International Tennis Federation to change the Davis cup draw against India from Islamabad to a neutral place.

The tie, set for November 29 and 30, was scheduled to be held in the Pakistani capital but the ITF on Monday decided that the Davis cup Asia/Oceania Group I game will be played at a neutral venue.

It was initially scheduled to be held in September, but it was delayed when India expressed concern about the safety of its players due to the diplomatic tensions prevailing between the two nations after the revocation of article 370.

We will decide at the meeting our next line of action. We have the option to appeal the ITF decision. Our best players like Aisam ul Haq and Aqeel Khan He had made it clear before that they would not be available for the national team if the draw is not played in Islamabad, said the PTF president Saleem Saifullah said.

"It is a difficult situation for us. We have the option of selecting the neutral venue but it is difficult to find grass court venues now and if we have to play on hard courts it will be a big disadvantage to us," he said.

Saifullah said he was disappointed with the Indian approach to the Dvis Cup qualifier.

"India has only politicised a sports event. From what I have heard the AITA was prepared to send its team to Islamabad but did not get clearance from their government. So I classify it as politics," Saifullah said.

He said the PTF had made elaborate security arrangements for the Davis cup tie which was already postponed from mid-September to late November.

We were well prepared to organize the event and we are still ready to do so. If they don't want spectators, we can do it. But now we first have to decide what to do. Appeal or not, he added. .

Pakistan's top player Qureshi has already said that he's fed up with having to play home Davis cup ties at neutral venues and would consider pulling out if the ITF shifted the venue out of the country.

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