Sat, Jan 03, 2009 - Page 18 News List

Pakistan seek compensation over switch

NOT PLAYING BALL Major sporting events in Pakistan have been badly affected ever since 2001, with tennis, cricket and hockey bearing the brunt of security fears

AFP , ISLAMABAD AND NEW DELHI

Pakistani tennis officials on Thursday demanded compensation of US$60,000 from the game’s governing body after their Davis Cup first round tie was relocated over security fears.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF), which holds the men’s annual team event, last month informed the Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) of its security concerns about playing the tie in Pakistan.

Pakistan’s Davis Cup Group II tie against Oman is scheduled for March 6-March 8.

The ITF gave Pakistan the option of playing the tie in either Oman or Malaysia, PTF President Dilawar Abbas said.

“We think there are no security issues in Pakistan, but if the ITF still wants to switch the tie, we demand it to be played on a neutral venue, either in Singapore or Malaysia and not in Oman,” Dilawar said.

Abbas said the switch will incur losses to Pakistan.

“We have demanded US$60,000 in compensation as we lose US$40,000 in sponsorship and there will be extra travel expenses of US$20,000 after the tie is relocated,” Abbas said.

Major sporting events have been hit hard in Pakistan since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the US and the ensuing conflict in neighboring Afghanistan.

Pakistan had to relocate two of its cricket home series — against Australia and the West Indies — to neutral venues in 2002 over security fears.

Australia again postponed a tour of Pakistan in March last year, citing security fears, while the International Cricket Council postponed the high-profile eight-nation Champions Trophy which was due to be hosted in Pakistan in September.

India canceled a cricket tour of Pakistan scheduled for this month in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks, which authorities have blamed on militants based in Pakistan.

India’s cricket board could lose up to US$10 million in revenue following the scrapping of the tour, domestic media reported yesterday.

Two major hockey events were also shifted from Pakistan in 2004 and last year after some teams refused to tour the country.

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