Private promoters barred from organising tennis tournaments in India

September 2nd, 2008 - 1:16 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 1 (IANS) The All India Tennis Association (AITA) has decided to bar private promoters from organising international tour events in the country.Announcing the decision taken at the AITA Annual General Meeting (AGM) meeting in Goa, Secretary General Anil Khanna said Monday here that he had asked the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) not to entertain any private agency to organise their tour events in India without consulting the national body.

Khanna said the ATP and WTA events held in Chennai and Bangalore had AITA’s sanction as both the events were organised by its affiliates, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka state associations, and they will not be affected by the new ruling.

He said he was shocked to learn from an ATP official in China during the Olympics that he had received a communication from a private promoter Big Live that it could not hold the ATP event in Bangalore because of security concerns.

A private detective agency is believed to have told the ATP that it is not safe to conduct the event in Bangalore in the aftermath of the recent terrorist activities in the city.

For good measure the agency has also stated that no big event can be held Bangalore.

Khanna told the ATP official that the information fed to him was not in conformity with the ground realities.

“Around the time the tennis event was to be held, the India-Australia Test match was going to be played in Bangalore. Moreover, 40 weeks of ATP, WTA and ITF events were being played in India every year, and that is enough to prove that the country is safe for sporting activities.”

Khanna said the Bangalore matter would be taken up with the central government as prestige of the country was involved.

He stated the AITA executive was concerned about private sponsors converting sporting events into business.

“The profits made by the private promoters go into their pockets whereas the money raked in from AITA events is ploughed back into the game.”

Khanna told ATP and WTA that AITA would be too happy to organise any of their events.

He also questioned the private promoters paying huge appearance money to even Indian players to play in the tournaments.

“AITA is very clear that the Indian players should play in tournaments in the country for promoting the game rather than making it a simple business proposition. In any case, money should not be the sole reason for them to play in the country.”

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