New Delhi, Aug 13 : The Mahesh Bhupathi led Indian Davis Cup team on Tuesday urged the All India Tennis Association to ask the International Tennis Federation for a netural venue for the upcoming tie against Pakistan in Islamabad next month.
After making repeated statements that the AITA will seek a neutral venue, General Secretary Hironmoy Chatterjee on Monday just sought a security re-check from the ITF.
''The Indian government has asked us to follow the Olympic Charter. AITA has also told the government and the players that the ITF is taking full responsibility for the safety of the players. We believe you that you must have checked security in Islamabad but the current situation has changed after that. We would like to request ITF to conduct a thorough security check. We will wait for the final proof from your side regarding security'', Chatterjee had said.
The latest move by AITA has left the players and the team management disappointed and now they have decided to approach the federation.
"We have asked AITA to request for a neutral venue," said Bhupathi.
Another player, who did not wish to be named, said the team is "quite surprised" at how AITA has dealt with the whole situation by merely asking for a security re-check.
Even, the Indian government hasn't taken a stand despite escalating tension between the two countries following recent scrapping of the special status accorded to Jammu and Kashmir.
Sports minister Kiren Rijijiu on Monday said that since the Asia Oceania Group 1 tie is not a bilateral series and the world body is involved in hosting of the Davis Cup, they can't stop tennis players from travelling to Pakistan.
No Indian Davis Cup team has travelled to Pakistan since 1964 and even a bilateral cricket ties between the two countries has not taken place since the Mumbai terror attack.
Since 2017, Pakistan have played four of their five home ties in Islamabad, hosting Korea, Thailand, Uzbekistan and Iran. Hong Kong had refused to travel to Pakistan in 2017, giving them a walkover.
The last time Pakistan played on a neutral venue was when it hosted China in Colombo in 2016. In 2015, Pakistan played both their home ties on neutral venues. They played Chinese Taipei in Turkey while hosting Kuwait in Colombo. (UNI)