AITA general secretary - Hironmoy Chatterjee - revealed that they would need to ask ITF to suggest a neutral venue for the Davis Cup tie if Pakistan don't issue visas to Indian players. PTF chief Salim Khan also admitted that tensions have escalated between both nations due to recent developments.
The Indian government revoked provisions of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir, which took away the state's special status after which Pakistan downgraded diplomatic relations with India on Wednesday. The Indian team were scheduled to play Pakistan in a Davis Cup encounter in Islamabad later this month but due to recent developments, the status of the match is unknown.
In such a scenario, AITA general secretary - Hironmoy Chatterjee - revealed that the Indian body's first priority is the security of the players within the squad. He said that in the worst case, ITF will require to suggest a neutral venue to play the pre-scheduled tie.
"It might affect the Davis Cup tie. It's too early to say but what I intend to do is to wait for one or two days to see what turn the situation takes. Then we will ask ITF (International Tennis Federation) to look into the situation and take a call. And if required, consider a neutral venue.
"If they (Pakistan) don't issue visas, how do we go to Pakistan? They might not issue the visas. And if they give visas, will they be able to give us proper security so that we feel comfortable?" Chatterjee was quoted as saying by PTI sources.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Tennis Federation president Salim Saifullah Khan admitted that tension has escalated between both nations due to the Kashmir issue as he added that the PTF will follow whatever ITF recommends.
"Islamabad is still safe. The tension has definitely escalated but it can de-escalate as well. For us also safety and security of the players is paramount. Winning or losing does not matter, safety is most important.
"It's too early to say that it's time to shift the tie to a neutral venue. But if ITF feels that it is better to shift the tie, we have to follow the instruction of the parent body. But as of now I don't see any reason to shift the venue," Khan added.
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