Security threat prompts cancellation of ATP and Sunfeat Open

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New Delhi, Sept 1 (UNI) The All India Tennis Association (AITA) today annouced the cancellation of this year's ATP tour event and the Sunfeat Open with the organisers finding security a serious concern in the country.

Announcing this here today, All India Tennis Association (AITA) general secretary Anil Khanna said, ''Globosport, a private promoter which has been organising the ATP and WTA tournaments in India for last few years, informed us that the two tournaments can not go ahead under such security.

''It (promoter) had hired a detective agency and mailed us its findingswhich stated that because of the terrorist activities in Bangalore over the last few years reflect the security in the city.

Therefore, for now the tournament stands cancelled,'' Khanna said.

The AITA Executive Committee which met yesterday has taken very serious note of the issue and has decided to take the matter to Ministry of Home Affairs, the Sports Ministry and the Karnataka government.

Taking a lesson from the whole episode, the AITA has decided that it will not permit private entrpreneurs to take up any WTA or ATP tour events in the country as their interest is only to make profits.

''In case the promoters are unable to find the sponsors, they they are capable of even putting the image of the nation at risk and not honour the commitment of the nation to international events of such magnitude,'' Khanna added.

The AITA, however, has downplayed the claims of the security agency which has said outrightly that not only Bangalore but other places in the country are not safe to host the tournaments of such stature.

''India is currently doing more than 30 international events annually in tennis and is in the process of organising Commonwealth Games 2010 and the Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune in October 2008.

''To add to that, Bangalore is hosting a cricket match against Australia virtually on the same dates as were proposed for the ATP tour event and also the World Billiard Championship in September,'' Khanna noted.

The AITA has finally decided that for any such international events to be hosted in the country, it will directly deal with the world body so as to eradicate the presence of private promoters.

Khanna further informed that the ATP was pleased with the efforts of the AITA and is happy with the conduct of the six Challenger events in the country.

The AITA secretary said, ''I met Mr Brad Drewett who is the CEO of ATP Asia/Pacific during the Olympics.

''Mr Drewett was very anxious about India cancelling the ATP event in Bangalore and cleary mentioned that these cancellations and the conduct of the promoters is causing great harm to the interest of Indian Tennis as it is bringing bad reputation to the country,'' he added.

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