ISLAMABAD: Pakistan have vowed to resist any attempt to shift their Davis Cup tennis home tie against the Philippines to a neutral venue over security concerns, a top official said Friday.
The Philippine Lawn Tennis Association reportedly made the request in a letter to the International Tennis Federation (ITF) citing the March 3 militant attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team.
The Philippines are scheduled to play Pakistan in Asia Oceania Group II on July 10-12 in Lahore, the same city where the ambush on Sri Lanka's cricket team took place, leaving eight dead and wounding seven players.
Pakistan Tennis Federation president Dilawar Abbas said any attempt to shift the tie would be refused.
"We are writing a letter to ITF in which we would demand that the tie should be played in Lahore, Pakistan because the venue would also have accommodation for the players and there would be no risks involved," Abbas told a foreign news agency.
"Cricket and tennis has lots of difference, the spectators are in hundreds as compared to thousands in cricket, and since it's an indoor sport security would be easier and complete," said Abbas.
An international squash event, due to be staged next month in Pakistan, was cancelled while New Zealand hinted it would not send its cricket team to Pakistan for the November-December series this year.
Last month Pakistan were forced to relocate their home Davis Cup tie against Oman to Muscat after their rivals raised security concerns.
Pakistan beat Oman 4-1 to set up a second round clash with the Philippines, who downed Hong Kong also 4-1.
Abbas said Pakistan would lose the home advantage of playing on grass if the Philippines tie was moved.
"We want to have the home advantage of grass courts and don't want to lose that," said Abbas.
The Philippine Star newspaper had quoted Randy Villaneuva, vice-president of Philippine Lawn Tennis Association, as saying another militant ambush in Lahore could not be ruled out.
"It has happened in the past," Villaneuva told the newspaper.