'Atmosphere not conducive to play in Pakistan' - AITA

'Atmosphere not conducive to play in Pakistan' - AITA

'Atmosphere not conducive to play in Pakistan' - AITA

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Monday said the government will not have any say on whether India should participate in next month's Davis Cup tie in Pakistan as the event is not a bilateral engagement.

The statement was a reiteration of the government's policy on suspending all bilateral sporting ties with Pakistan, but not extending the same to multilateral worldwide sporting events.

Seeing the downgrading of diplomatic ties, AITA Secretary-General Hironmoy Chatterjee had said that the International Tennis Federation (ITF) will decide whether India plays against Pakistan or not.

There is perhaps a bigger question mark now over India's Asia/Oceania Group 1 Davis Cup fixture against Pakistan in Islamabad post the Indian government revoking Article 370 in Kashmir.

Tensions between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir issue have escalated.

Chatterjee said that if India opts out of playing against Pakistan, it will invite penalty.

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Chatterjee had added that the AITA is also gathering information from the players for the visa application of Pakistan.

In 2015, Pakistan played both their home ties on neutral venue. Hong Kong had refused to travel to Pakistan in April, 2017, giving them a walkover.

"We have asked the ITF for a neutral venue because the situation is a bit unpredictable. But Davis Cup is not a bilateral and is organised by a world sporting body", Rijiju said on the sidelines of an event of the ministry of youth affairs.

"We will wait for two days to see how the situation is and will then approach the ITF to if possible, shift the venue to a neutral place so that players can play comfortably". Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Ramkumar Ramanathan, Saketh Myneni, Rohan Bopanna, Divij Sharan and Sasi Kumar Mukund were all named in the lineup.

In December a year ago, the Indian government had refused visas to the Pakistan team for the shooting World Cup in Delhi, following the Pulwama attack.

The Indian cricket team had last toured Pakistan in 2007, and after that, no team across any sport has toured Pakistan.

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