Play or forfeit Davis Cup tie: AITA to Australia

March 27th, 2009 - 9:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Davis Cup New Delhi, March 27 (IANS) All India Tennis Association (AITA) secretary-general Anil Khanna Friday took a tough stance on Tennis Australia (TA) demand for moving the Asia-Oceania Group I third round Davis Cup tie out of India. He said the 28 times champions should either play the tie here or forfeit it.
India are to host Australia in the southern Indian metropolis Chennai from May 8-10 for a spot in the World Group play-off.

TA wrote to the International Tennis Federation (ITF) March 17, requesting that the tie be moved out of India on security grounds.

Khanna, who is also the president of Asian Tennis Federation (ATF), said such demands could affect the image of the country and the sport.

“Australia seem to be having a very different perspective of security risk. They have been apprehensive about travelling to almost 50 percent of the Asian nations and skipping events.

“If that is so, the question that needs to be addressed is whether Australia should continue to be playing in the Asia-Oceania Group or should they move to any other group. They should play in India or forfeit the tie.”

Khanna said they are confident the tie will be held in Chennai.

“India is a safe place and there is no threat to the players’ security. We successfully organised ATP Chennai Open in January and players from the top 30 in the world, including Carlos Moya and Ivan Karlovic, came to play.

“We will take full care of the Australian squad,” said Khanna.

Khanna in his reply to the ITF’s Executive Director, Davis Cup, Paul Smith, clarified that the Australians and the officials would get the same level of high security that was given to the players at the ATP Chennai Open.

“The tie will be held at the same stadium where the the ATP Tour event took place and the players will be staying in the same hotels where players stayed. The private security agency G4S International, which was there at the Chennai Open, would look after the Australians,” Khanna said in his letter to Smith.

Khanna said AITA will appeal against TA’s request. “The matter is bound to reach the appeals stage and we are hopeful the Davis Cup committee decision will be in our favour. Things should become clear in the first week of April.”

ITF in his letter to AITA informed that they will send their security consultants

Olive Group for the assessment of venue.

“We are confident that there is no security issues in India and the security check is not necessary. But if ITF still wants to send their team, we have no problem. ITF is an responsible and fair organisation and we will give our full support.”

–Indo-Asian News Serrvice


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