Davis Cup tie shifted from Pakistan due to security

December 15th, 2008 - 11:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, Dec 15 (IANS) After cricket and hockey, it’s now the turn of Pakistan tennis to suffer because of the security situation in the country. The Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) received a rude shock when Davis Cup bosses informed Monday that they have decided to shift Pakistan’s Davis Cup Asia Oceania Group-II tie against Oman next March from Lahore because of security worries.

Pakistan was scheduled to host Oman in the opening round match on grass in Lahore from March 6-8. The tie will now take place in Oman on the same dates.

Paul Smith, the Executive Director Davis Cup Committee, sent an email to PTF president Dilawar Abbas to inform him about the decision.

“In light of recent terrorist activities in your country, the ITF has completed a full examination of the current situation and has taken advice from many sources including our external security consultancy, which has done comprehensive security risk analysis of holding the tie in Pakistan. This report was the basis of an in-depth discussion of the situation by the Davis Cup Committee at their meeting last week at the 2008 Davis Cup Final at Mar del Plata,” wrote Smith.

Dilawar Abbas, a Senator, reacted sharply to the decision, saying that it was unfair to take away the tie from Pakistan.

“Sports is a medium of spreading peace and harmony amongst the nations and for the people countries who participate in the sporting show. PTF does not agree with your external security report regarding the risk analysis of holding the series in Pakistan,” he wrote back to Smith.

“It is really surprising because the PTF has organized eight world-ranking events in the last five months. There were 16 Indian girls playing here at the time of Mumbai attacks. Security is definitely important and we always take full responsibility and arrange the security cover. These days such ugly incidents of terrorism can take place anywhere in the world and we in Pakistan are fighting a war against the terrorism,” Abbas wrote.

Abbas also pointed out that the Omani players belong to a brotherly Islamic nation and will be completely safe in Pakistan.

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