April 25, 2009 3:47:07 pm
Union Home Minister P Chidambaram assured that the Davis Cup tie between Australia and India in Chennai will be “completely safe” while also promising a fool-proof security for the May 8-10 event.
Reacting to Australia’s withdrawal from the Asia-Oceania Group I tie,citing security concerns and describing India as “area of high risk”,the Home Ministry issued a statement,making it clear that Davis Cup was a small affair to be safely conducted in India during election time.
“Davis Cup is one match,one visiting team,one venue,one small stadium,three days. India and the event are completely safe. Fool-proof security can and will be provided,” a Home Ministry release quoted Chidambaram as saying.
Australian Davis Cup captain John Fitzgerald denounced the ITF decision to reject Tennis Australia’s plea to shift the match and go ahead with it in India,pointing out the Indian Premier League Twenty20 cricket tournament was not moved to South Africa for no reason.
“It is just irresponsible. Surely some thought must be given to the players’ safety. I believe they (ITF) say the election is not a cause for concern,the IPL moving is not relevant and that an ATP tournament held in January shows it is safe to play in Chennai… Did the IPL move for no reason? This decision makes no sense,” Fitzgerald said in a statement.
Tennis Australia President Geoff Pollard said in a statement “We asked for the tie to be moved because we have major security concerns for the players,particularly during the (Indian) election… It would be irresponsible of us to send our players into an area of such high risk.”
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