Stop war, start tennis: Indian, Pakistani pair up at Wimbledon

Lotto-endorsed tennis players Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi, Indian and Pakistani respectively, have decided to join forces as a doubles team at Wimbledon to help promote peace.

Stop war, start tennis

The two players, along with Peace and Sport, the Monaco-based and neutral international organisation that works towards bringing together divided communities worldwide by encouraging dialogue and reconciliation through sport, have decided to team up at the prestigious sporting event in order to help maintain and promote peace in their neighbouring countries.

Together with their technical supplier, Lotto Sport Italia, Bopanna and Qureshi have decided to promote this initiative by designing specially made t-shirts and sweatshirts bearing the slogan: ‘Stop War! Start Tennis!’ The t-shirt will be worn during training sessions, whilst the sweatshirt will be used when entering the court before play.

Rohan, currently ranked 54th doubles player in the world, and Aisam, 46th, have been friends for over ten years and have teamed up successfully for the last three years. Their respective countries have lived in a situation of unease and tension over the region of Kashmir since independence from the British Empire in 1947. Peace and Sport aims to emphasise how much sport unites, as highlighted by the two players’ partnership.

The two tennis stars took the initiative to promote peace through sport after having noticed that communities from both countries forget hostility when they support them in international competitions. Indeed, during the first ATP tournament in Mumbai in 2007, Pakistani flags were waved inside the stadium during the final.

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