The International Tennis Federation announced on Thursday that the India-Pakistan Davis Cup tie, scheduled to be held in the capital of Pakistan, will be postponed to November this year.
India had given its nod to travel to Pakistan but yet another collapse in diplomatic ties between the two neighbouring nations forced the All India Tennis Association to request for a change in venue. The tie was originally slated to be played on September 14-15. The ITF, in their statement, announced that that exact dates of the tie will be confirmed by September 9.
“Following an in-depth security review of the current situation in Pakistan by independent expert security advisors, the Davis Cup Committee has taken the decision to postpone the Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group I tie between Pakistan and India in Islamabad, due to be played on 14-15 September,” the ITF said in the statement.
“The Committee concluded that this is an exceptional circumstance while the first priority of the ITF is the safety and security of athletes, officials and spectators. The ITF will continue to monitor the situation in Pakistan and the Davis Cup Committee will re-convene to re-examine the security situation in advance of the tie,” the statement added.
Despite the escalating tensions between the two nations, India’s Sports Ministry made it clear that it won’t interfere since it is not a bilateral series. According to the Davis Cup rules and regulations, a tie can be moved out only during exceptional circumstances.
Forfeiting the tie would mean that the Indian team will be automatically relegated to the Asia/Oceania Group II. It also means India won’t reach the World Group Qualifiers before 2022, getting pegged back by at least two years.
India will have to compete in Group II in 2020 to earn promotion back to Group I and again spend 2021 in Group I to be able to compete in Qualifiers in 2022. Whereas, if the Indian team travels to Pakistan and beats the hosts, it will be eligible to compete in the Qualifiers in 2020.