Pak-Kiwi Davis Cup tie shifted to New Zealand over security fears

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Wellington, Mar.16 (ANI): The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has decided to shift Pakistan's next Davis Cup tie to New Zealand citing security reasons.

The Davis Cup committee of the ITF informed both nations that the Asia-Oceania Group II semifinal will be played in New Zealand from July 9-11 rather than in Pakistan or at a neutral venue.

"Due to the existing security concerns that continue to surround the hosting of sporting events in Pakistan, the Davis Cup committee met last week to review the situation, deciding on this occasion to reverse the choice of ground for this tie, resulting in New Zealand now having choice of ground," The News quoted a statement issued by the ITF, as saying.

Tennis New Zealand Operations Manager Tracy Hall said several players had expressed concerns over visiting Pakistan due to the deteriorating law and order conditions in the country.

"A lot of our players had expressed concerns and did not want to travel to Pakistan. Security concerns were an issue going over there so we are glad with the decision to have it hosted in New Zealand," Hall said.

Hall said the association had approached the ITF for shifting the games from Pakistan in December also.

Hall said the ITF had moved the first round match between Pakistan and Hong Kong to Hong Kong because it was "too dangerous" to play in Pakistan.

Earlier, Pakistan had strongly objected to Tennis New Zealand's request to the ITF to move its upcoming Davis Cup tie against Pakistan to New Zealand or to a neutral venue due to security concerns.

Pakistan Tennis Federation secretary Rashid Khan said that New Zealand should either travel to Pakistan for the matches or forfeit the points. (ANI)

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