India could miss out on Davis Cup tie in Pakistan. GETTY IMAGES

The Indian tennis team is awaiting government approval to travel to Pakistan for a Davis Cup play-off match. The request comes after the International Tennis Federation's tribunal rejected a proposal to move the match to a third country.

India's tennis team is awaiting government approval to travel to Pakistan for the Davis Cup play-off. The nuclear-armed neighbours have fought several wars since gaining independence from British rule in 1947. Sporting events between the two countries have always been affected by political relations. The situation has put the match in jeopardy.

The Indian team may miss the match due to a travel ban. The All India Tennis Association (AITA) has sought permission from the Sports Ministry to travel to Pakistan after the International Tennis Federation tribunal rejected its request to move the team to a third country. "The proposal is still pending with the ministry. We are waiting for a decision," AITA secretary general Anil Dhupar told AFP. 

Salim Saifullah Khan, president of the Pakistan Tennis Federation, said: "Eighteen members of the Indian team have already applied for visas to take part in the World Group 1 match scheduled for February 3-4. "All arrangements are in place. They will be provided with the best of security and accommodation. Let politics stay away from sports and let common sense prevail," he was quoted as saying by AFP.

Indian Davis Cup team awaits government approval. GETTY IMAGES
Indian Davis Cup team awaits government approval. GETTY IMAGES

The two tennis teams have not faced each other on either country's soil for many years. Specifically, New Delhi last hosted Pakistan in 2006, while India's Davis Cup team has not travelled to Islamabad since 1964, according to India Today.

Local media are also mentioning a similar situation in 2019, when a match will be moved to Kazakhstan due to the political tensions between the two countries, according to the AITA.

It is not just tennis that is suffering. Cricket is the number one sport in both countries. Despite being powerhouses in the discipline, they have only met in major tournaments. India did not travel to Pakistan for the 50-over Asia Cup in September. 

This forced Pakistan to partially relinquish their role as organisers, allowing Sri Lanka to take over. A month later, Pakistan asked to host the Cricket World Cup in a third country. When their request was turned down, they eventually went to India.

The following month, after their request to play some matches in a third country was rejected, Pakistan travelled to India for the Cricket World Cup.