The All India Tennis Association (AITA) will apply for visas of Pakistan for the Davis Cup tie, to be held in Islamabad next month, but expects the fixture to be shifted to a neutral location outside the country.
The Asia/Oceania Group I match was originally supposed to take place on September 14 and 15 but was rescheduled by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) to late November following a security review.
“We’ve begun the visa procedure while waiting for a confirmation on the venue by the ITF. We’ve requested a change in venue and ITF has promised to get back to us by Nov. 3,” AITA Secretary General Hiranmoy Chatterjee was quoted as saying by news agency Reuters.
Due to the teams’ refusal to visit the country citing security reasons, Pakistan was forced to hold its home Davis Cup ties at neutral venues for more than a decade. But things changed when Pakistan hosted Iran in 2017 and played their first match at home after 12 years.
But the sporting relationship between India and Pakistan has continued to grow bitter over the past years owing to the political tension. The relationship worsened the most after the Pulwama attack in February and India’s removal of “special status” from Kashmir.
India had faced the heat of several international sports bodies after they canceled visas for two Pakistani shooters, coming in India to take part in shooting World Cup, post the Pulwama attack. The neighbouring nation, on the other hand, has cut off all the diplomatic ties and suspended bilateral trades with New Delhi after the abrogation article 370.
Amidst all the growing tensions, the Davis Cup tie was looked in a vivacious manner to brighten up the sporting relationship for the future. However, with India’s stance to shift the venue, there seems to be no solution.