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ITF backs Bopanna-Qureshi's call to Indian, Pak govts to allow border match

Melbourne , Fri, 21 Jan 2011 ANI

Melbourne, Jan 21(ANI): The "Indo-Pak Express" comprising Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi has urged the Indian and Pakistan governments to allow a tennis match across their heavily fortified border.


The duo, who hope that their doubles' partnership can help bring the two bitterly divided countries closer, said the initiative was now backed by the world tennis body and an international peace group.


Qureshi said the International Tennis Federation (ITF) had thrown its support behind the scheme, along with Peace and Sport- a non-governmental organisation run by Prince Albert of Monaco.


"A lot of good things have been achieved, the ITF is now supporting this, Peace and Sport is also supporting this...The letters have gone to both the prime minister and president of both countries," SAMAA TV quoted Qureshi, as saying.


"It is a political issue and there are a lot of security concerns, so we are just hoping that the governments will give us the green light so we can play that match on the border," he added.


Qureshi and Bopanna, the runners-up at last year's US Open, are confident of a positive response from their respective governments.


"Last year, at the US Open, both the UN Ambassadors for Pakistan and India came and watched our matches, which was a huge thing and they are supporting the cause as well," noted Qureshi.


"Things are going in the right direction, we just have to keep playing our matches and get more and more publicity on the bigger occasions.... Hopefully it will happen this year," he added.


Meanwhile, the Bopanna-Qureshi duo advanced to the third round after defeating Frenchmen Jeremy Chardy and Arnaud Clement on Friday (today). (ANI)


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