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AITA bans private tournament organisers

September 01, 2008 20:15 IST

In a major policy decision, the All India Tennis Association (AITA) has decided to bar private players from holding an ATP/WTA events on their own in the country.

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The decision means that private entrepreneurs like Mahesh Bhupathi's Globosport, which has been conducting ATP Kingfisher Open and WTA Sunfeast Open, will have to go through the AITA in future if they intend to organise such big events.

The decision was taken at AITA's executive committee, held on Sunday in Mumbai, after the game's governing body in the country learnt that a private promoter-- Big Live -- wrote to the ATP that they were cancelling the proposed Bangalore Open due to security concerns in the city.

Sunfeast Open, the WTA Event, which was to be held in Mumbai in October has already been cancelled by Globosport as the company in an e-mail to AITA said that they had sold out their sanction to some other party.

The AITA took exception to the reason cited for the cancellation of the ATP tournament in Bangalore and even said they were referring the matter to the Government of India as it tarnished the image of the country.

"The AITA Committee unanimously approved that henceforth AITA would not permit private entrepreneurs to take up any WTA or ATP events as their interest is only to make profits and in case they are unable to find sponsors, they are quite capable of putting the image of nation at risk and not honour the commitment of the nation to international events of such magnitude," Anil Khanna, Secretary General of AITA, said.

Khanna added that "a report from the Union Home Ministry will go to the ATP saying that India is absolutely safe

"AITA rubbished reports that there were security concerns, as claimed by a private investigating agency.

"AITA unanimously resolved that Bangalore is absolutely 100 percent safe as has been demonstrated by number of international events in the field of sport, art and culture taking place in Bangalore," he said.

Khanna said that they were told by former Davis Cup captain Vijay Amritraj that Kingfisher Open has been shifted from Mumbai and Reliance ADAG has taken over the tournament and would co-ordinate with AITA with regard to the conduct of the tournament.

Khanna also claimed no one from the Reliance ADAG responded to their queries and finally AITA learnt from the ATP on August 12 that the promoters had decided to cancel the tournament citing security threat in the city.

The Reliance ADAG had asked a private investigating agency to study the security aspect of the Bangalore city and the agency recommended to put off the event.

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