AITA Sets Thursday Deadline For Revolting Players To Accept Compromise Offer
Indian tennis "faces a second major embarrassment in six months after negotiations between the association and disgruntled Davis Cup players failed ahead of their home tie against South Korea next month," according to REUTERS. The eight top players "submitted a list of requirements to the All India Tennis Association with a veiled threat to snub the regional first round tie in New Delhi from Feb. 1-3 if no action was taken." The AITA "agreed to most of the demands, but it was not enough to convince the group" as they rejected the compromise formula. AITA CEO Hironmoy Chatterjee "ruled out any further dialogue with the players and set them a Thursday deadline to commit to playing in the team event." Chatterjee said, "We will wait for the players’ response. We won’t change our stand. Whatever was possible to be done, we have done" (REUTERS, 1/8).
PLAYERS' DEMANDS: The PTI wrote the revolting players "insisted that all their demands be met as it is." The players "did not accept Zishan Ali as coach, insisting that Aditya Sachdeva should be made the coach." They also "did not want S.P. Misra to remain captain," instead preferring either Rohit Rajpal or Anand Amritraj to be the next captain. In addition, they "also did not agree with AITA’s proposal to get a physio from the Sports Authority of India, proposing Yash Pandey’s name as their choice." The players have also "insisted that the team should consist of six players instead of four, and the fifth and the sixth player should also be considered for the sharing of prize money" (PTI, 1/8).
ATHLETES 'IN THE WRONG': In Dubai, UAE, Steve Elling opined "this time, the athletes might be the guys in the wrong." The "whining is as old as sport itself." The "tail-wags-dog tale received a good bit of publicity, making everybody involved look either selfish or ineffectual, perhaps a little of both." Worse, "the AITA caved in, granting nearly every wish." Right or wrong, "it is fair to wonder if the revolt was worth it because it resulted in another unflattering sports story for India" (THE NATIONAL, 1/7).