Pakistan and India to play Davis Cup tie at neutral venue

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Pakistan and India to play Davis Cup tie at neutral venue

Ever since the draw came out, it was clear that the risky Davis Cup Group I tie between Pakistan and India would not go on without troubles after everything that has been on between two neighbor countries. Indian hasn't played in Pakistan since 1964 and their tennis organization did the best to postpone this tie as well or move it from Islamabad, despite choosing the team that would fight for the place at the 2020 Davis Cup Qualifiers.

On August 6, the Indian government decided to revoke a sensitive Article of its constitution. Article 370 of the Indian constitution accorded special status to Jammu and Kashmir. Following the revocation of the said Article, Pakistan decided to snap or downgrade diplomatic ties with its neighbor.

In the given circumstances, things have become problematic for India's Davis Cup tie against Pakistan that was to be played in Islamabad at the Pakistan Sports Complex on September 14-15. The All India Tennis Association wrote to the ITF on August 13 about shifting the tie to a neutral venue and it had little effect, with the ITF assuring it is safe to hold the tie in Islamabad in September, encouraging the Indian squad to make the first trip to Pakistan in 55 years!

Still, the ITF had to put the safety concerns above everything, rescheduling the tie for the end of November but keeping Islamabad as the host of the clash. The officials were monitoring all the latest news from that region, hoping for a peaceful situation and the first Indian trip to Pakistan in many decades, keeping the sport above everything.

In the end, they have decided to move the tie away from Pakistan and schedule it for a neutral venue. Pakistan will have to find a suitable place, probably somewhere in the region, in what will be their first tie on a neutral ground since 1973 when India scored a 4-0 win in Kuala Lumpur.

"Following a review of the latest advice given by the ITF's independent security advisors, the Davis Cup Committee has taken the decision that the Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group I tie between Pakistan and India on November 29-30, 2019, must be played at a neutral venue.

The ITF and Davis Cup Committee's priority has always been the safety of athletes, officials and spectators, and the decision was made on this basis. As per the Davis Cup Regulations, the Pakistan Tennis Federation now has the choice to nominate a neutral venue and has five working days to confirm their proposed venue. The venue will be announced once the choice has been submitted and approved."