Khanna confident of Chennai hosting Davis Cup tieApril 8th, 2009 - 7:58 pm ICT by IANS
Chennai, April 8 (IANS) Claiming India is one of the safest destinations for sports, Anil Khanna, secretary-general of the All-India Tennis Association, expressed confidence that the Davis Cup tie against Australia will be held here as per schedule from May 8 to 10.
“The Australian players had expressed concerns over security, but I can assure them that we will offer them the best of hospitality and security when they come here for the Davis Cup tie,” said Khanna at a media briefing here Wednesday.
In the wake of recent terrorist incidents in the sub-continent, the Australian federation had mooted a change of venue for the tie, the winners of which will qualify for the World Group play-off.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF), in turn, deputed Stephen Schad of Olive Agency, their contracted security consultants, to assess the situation in Chennai.
“In the past two days, we have met all the top police and security officers in the city and going by their response, I am quite confident that the tie will go ahead as per the schedule,” Khanna said.
Schad arrived in Chennai Tuesday and has since had meetings with various police and government officials. He will be submitting his report to the ITF which in turn will take a decision by “early next week”, according to Khanna.
Khanna clarified that it was a routine check from ITF to send a “risk analysis agent” to assess the security situation and as such, the AITA was not taking any exception to Schad’s visit.
Schad was shown the security plans at the venue, the SDAT Stadium, besides the official hotel. According to Khanna, the security expert was quite satisfied with the arrangements.
Khanna also pointed out that since Mumbai terror attack last year, India had hosted 11 ITF tournaments in India, including the ATP Chennai Open and in the next eight weeks another nine events besides the Davis Cup are to be held.
“The Tamil Nadu Tennis Association (TNTA) has done a remarkable job in hosting the Chennai Open over the past 10 years and I am confident that the visiting players will be extended the best of Indian hospitality and security during the Davis Cup tie,” Khanna said.
TNTA president M.A. Alagappan said: “I can assure the tennis players that they will be well looked after here.”
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