Pakistan appeals shift of Lebanon tennis tie
KARACHI - Reuters
Pakistan has appealed to the International Tennis Federation following its decision to shift the Davis Cup Asia/Oceania group two tie against Lebanon away from Lahore due to security reasons.
Pakistan was due to play Lebanon in Lahore in February but this week the ITF announced the tie had been moved to Lebanon due to security conditions in Pakistan.
“We are very disappointed at the ITF decision,” Mumtaz Yousuf, secretary of the Pakistan Tennis Federation, told Reuters. “We have filed an appeal with them to reconsider as there is still time for the event.”
Yousuf said Lebanon was ready to play in Pakistan but the ITF had expressed its reservations over security concerns.
“The Lebanon tennis federation had accepted our invitation to play in Pakistan provided we guaranteed foolproof security for their players and we were doing that,” Yousuf said.
Since 2010 Pakistan has been forced to play its home Davis Cup ties against Hong Kong, Philippines, Oman and New Zealand abroad because of the security situation in the country.
The ITF moved the ties after the visiting teams refused to travel to Pakistan.
The PTF has also filed compensation claims with the ITF after losing the right to host three of their Davis Cup ties.
“We are disappointed because we were making proper arrangements for the event and we had also kept the ITF informed about our security plans,” Yousuf said. “The ITF should have come to Pakistan to review the security situation and arrangements themselves,” he added.
Pakistan’s top tennis player, Aisam-ul-Haq, said it would be difficult for Pakistan to qualify for the main rounds of the Davis Cup if they always had to play away from home.
“It is not easy going and playing our home ties abroad, it kills our advantage and home support,” he said.