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International Hockey Federation not to intervene in India-Pakistan row

Abhishek Jain
17 Sep 2015, 23:25 IST
India-Pak hockey
No Pakistani players were auctioned in the first round

The International Hockey Federation’s (FIH) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kelly Fairweather has assured that the hockey governing body won’t interfere in the rift between Hockey India and Pakistan Hockey Federation.

Earlier, the Hockey India President Dr. Narinder Batra made it clear that there will be no Pakistani hockey players taking part in the upcoming edition of the Hockey India League without an apology. 

“We don't intend to sit between them”

The unfortunate incident happened after Pakistan beat the Indian team in a thrilling 4-3 semi-final encounter when some of the Pakistani players celebrated the win in an inappropriate manner by showing obscene gestures to the home crowd. The incident didn’t go well with the Indian crowd and as a result, two Pakistani players were given a 1-match suspension and were reprimanded by the International Hockey Federation (FIH).

Firstpost reported Mr. Kelly Fairweather as saying, “We don't intend to sit between them. What we will be doing is meeting with the PHF, its new leadership and hopefully they will have a new approach. They will be more open to giving strong links.”

However, the former head coach of the Pakistan men’s hockey team Shahnaz Sheikh has hit back at the comments made by the President of Hockey India, Dr. Narinder Batra. He said that Dr. Batra is just making excuses to stop the Pakistani players from taking part in the next years’ HIL.

“It is a discussion between the two federations”

The CEO of FIH added, “That incident as far as FIH is concerned, is in the past. We took what we believe was the appropriate action. We are not going to comment any further because, as I said, it is a discussion between the two federations.”

Kelly ensured that the FIH’s main focus will be on to bring back Pakistan hockey to its past glory. The Pakistan men’s hockey team failed to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics after having already missed out on the chance of playing the 2014 World Cup.

Kelly concluded, “Our part is to make sure that Pakistan gets back into international hockey as a force. It's really not good that we don't have a country like that not playing in the World Cup and not playing in the Olympics. That is the real worry for me.”

As a result of the rift, no Pakistani players were auctioned during the first round of the Hockey India League’s auction. The league will commence from early January next year.

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