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ITF reaffirms decision to hold Pakistan-Iran Davis Cup tie in Islamabad

ITF reaffirms decision to hold Pakistan-Iran Davis Cup tie in Islamabad

LAHORE: In a landmark decision coming after 12 long years, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) has allowed Pakistan to hold a Davis Cup tie - against Iran - in Islamabad during the month of February next year, thus rejecting the appeal of the visiting nation to change the venue from Pakistan on security grounds.

“In a late night message from London, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) informed the President of the Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) Salim Saifullah Khan that the ITF Board of Directors had upheld the decision of the Davis Cup Committee to allow the 1st Round tie - Pak versus Iran - in Islamabad.

“This is a big news, not only for the entire tennis fraternity, but also for other sports bodies in the country as it would send out a positive signal to the other international teams that Pakistan is a safe country, as was witnessed in the recently held international squash and badminton events,” a PTF press release said on Wednesday.

“Earlier, on the 5th of Dec, the Iranian Tennis Federation had exercised its right and appealed the ITF to review the decision of the Davis Cup Committee. Hosting of home ties in Pakistan had been denied for the last twelve years. However, the independent Security Consultants of the ITF gave their recommendations for approval to the Davis Cup Committee of the ITF,” the press release further stated.

“President PTF, Salim Saifullah was delighted on receiving a reconfirmation of the venue and praised the efforts of the government in improving the security environment and for supporting the cause to bring the event back to Pakistan. He expressed his joy, saying that Pakistani players will get a chance to play before home crowds after a long time and our people will also get to see their heroes in action.”

The tie is to be held in Islamabad, from Feb 3-5 next year.

Published in Dawn December 15th, 2016

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