AITA toes government's line on new policy

Updated: 26 December 2008 11:35 IST

The AITA gave thumbs up to the new policy of the government which restricted players not carrying Indian passports from representing the country.

AITA toes government's line on new policy

New Delhi:

The All India Tennis Association on Friday gave thumbs up to the new policy of the government which restricted players not carrying Indian passports from representing the country.

AITA Secretary General Anil Khanna said in a statement that the game's governing body in the country had apprised the government of the difficulties certain players would face after the new policy comes into effect but added they are not against the decision.

"All India Tennis Association (AITA) had replied to the Government that we have three players who will be affected by such an Order and at the same time AITA will abide by the policy of the Government in the larger interest of Indian Sport," Khanna said in a statement.

Three Indians --- Davis Cupper Prakash Amritraj and Fed Cup player Sunitha Rao and Shikha Uberoi -- who have American passports have careers at stake following the new policy.

However, Khanna said the government would have no objection if players were ready to surrender their existing passports and get an Indian one which will make them eligible to represent the country.

"The new policy has been discussed and the Hon'ble Minister of Sports has agreed to have a re-look at the participation rights, if a possibility exists for dual citizenships for players.

"In case a player is willing to change his passport he/she will obviously not be in any difficulty in representing India in Fed Cup and Davis Cup and the Government would welcome the same," he said.

Meanwhile, the Uberoi sisters Shikha and Neha expressed disappointment at the new development.

"It is a very sad day for Indian sport altogether. We have a billion people in this country and we always compare to China for sports and how many gold medals they have won.

India lags so far behind and it is just going to widen the gap," Shikha said. Neha, whose request to represent India is pending before the ITF, was also dejected.

"This is very disappointing for me. It demotivates me a lot because I really like to play for India, for the country, to represent India because I feel India need to be up there in sport," Neha said.

Topics : Tennis
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