Karachi: The Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) has vowed to fight on to get the result of its Asia-Oceania Group II tie of the Davis Cup against New Zealand overturned by the International Tennis Federation. The ITF, in a statement, today said it has rejected Pakistan's appeal against the decision of the referee to award the Davis Cup tie in Yangon, Myanmar to New Zealand because of unplayable court conditions.
Pakistan had appealed against the referee's decision with its top players including Aisam-ul-Haq claiming the Sri Lankan referee was biased and had taken a unjustified decision. Referee Ashita Ajigala had disqualified Pakistan from the tie last month as they were the designated hosts of the tie after New Zealand refused to play in Pakistan because of security concerns.
Pakistan had chosen to play in Yangon because of its grass courts which it said suited its players. Pakistan had won the first single and were leading in the second single when the referee awarded the tie to New Zealand. The ITF said its committee was of the view that the PTF did not organise the tie to the required standards, notably with regard to the quality of the two available courts.
"The Committee noted that the poor quality of the original match court led the referee to designate the practice court as the match court," the ITF statement read. "Following the deterioration of the second court, specifically during the second match, the referee determined that this court was now unplayable and a risk to player safety," the statement said.
But PTF President, Kaleem Imam said they still felt the referee had not acted justifiably and that if the court condition was so bad, why was the tie allowed to began at all. "We will now be appealing to the ITF board of directors as the law allows us to do so. We will exhaust all avenues because we feel our team should not have been disqualified this way," Imam said.