ITF refuses Davis Cup tie in Pakistan


Karachi : Pakistan tennis has received yet another setback after the International Tennis Federation (ITF) decided to disallow it a Davis Cup tie against Hong Kong at home in March.

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According to reports, an ITF security official who visited Pakistan submitted a negative report on the security arrangements in the country after which the game’s ruling committee decided against hosting the tie in Pakistan.

A top official of the Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) said the Davis Cup Asia Oceania Group II will now be played in Hong Kong.

“The ITF has shifted the tie to Hong Kong after the security officer Ian Todd was not satisfied with the security arrangements and feared for players’ safety,” PTF secretary Mumtaz Yousaf was quoted in the Express Tribune.

Todd visited Lahore in October to assess the security arrangements for holding the Davis Cup matches. He visited different clubs and met various sports officials during the visit.

“It is hurting but we don’t have any other choice but to follow the ITF decision which was based on Todd’s report,” said Yousaf. It would be the fourth year in succession when Pakistan would be forced to play their home matches away due to security threats.

Earlier, Pakistan’s home ties against Oman and the Philippines in 2009 were also shifted while this year the country was forced to play in Hong Kong and New Zealand after the teams refused to visit. Pakistan, however, still managed a victory against Hong Kong but the loss against New Zealand restrained their promotion.

Dejected after the tie was shifted, Pakistan number one Aqeel Khan feared for a further decline in Davis Cup performance.

“At one stage we reached Group I but were relegated due to the continuous shifting of our home matches,” Aqeel said.

“We lost to New Zealand this year just because we were unaware of the conditions there. The loss demoted us to Group II.”

Aqeel said that Hong Kong will be tougher to beat this year.

“Last time, Hong Kong were without their main players and that helped us in securing a win. They will be available this time and it would be very difficult to beat them.”