Thursday Nov 21, 2019
India and Pakistan's Davis Cup tie originally scheduled to take place in Islamabad will now be played in Kazakhstan's capital Nur-Sultan, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) announced on Wednesday.
The Asia/Oceania Group I match had initially been planned for September, but was pushed back to November 29-30 after safety fears were raised by India amid tensions between the neighbouring nations over Kashmir.
The move comes after the ITF's Davis Cup Committee rejected on Tuesday the Pakistan Tennis Federation´s appeal against the decision to move the match from Islamabad.
"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) on 29-30 November," The ITF said in a statement.
The match was moved from Islamabad on November 4 following a review by ITF's independent security advisors.
An Indian tennis team last played a Davis Cup tie in Pakistan in 1964, when they beat the hosts 4-0. Pakistan lost 3-2 when they played in Mumbai in 2006.
Earlier this week, Pakistan tennis star Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi announced that he will boycott the upcoming Davis Cup tie against India as his protest against the ITF's decision to deprive Pakistan of the tie's hosting right.
Terming the decision "deplorable", Aisam said that he was "saddened to learn that the ITF, under the Indian influence, continues to take away Pakistan’s right of holding Davis Cup tie against India at our home venue".
“The attitude of both the All Indian Tennis Association (AITA) and ITF towards Pakistan is highly deplorable, to say it the least,” Aisam said in a letter addressed to Salim Saifullah, the president of Pakistan Tennis Federation.
“There is absolutely no threat foreseen for the Indian tennis team in Pakistan. As you very well know that hundreds of Indians are regularly visiting Pakistan to perform their religious activities in various places like Kartarpur, Nankana Sahib and Taxila. There has not been a single incident of violence or mishandling with any Indian national ever in Pakistan and for sure not at all in recent years,” he mentioned in the letter, of which Geo News has obtained a copy.
Aisam further said that if the excuse is the tension between India and Pakistan due to what Indians have done in occupied Kashmir then why we should be penalised for their wrongdoing.
He said that he has always maintained that politics and religion should not be mixed up with sports. “This is my point even now that neither AITA nor ITF should snatch away our right in this case,” he said.