No Pakistani players in Hockey India League without apology, confirms Hockey India President
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. The asked apology is for the behavioural misconduct displayed by the Pakistani players during the 2014 Champions Trophy clash against India in Bhubaneswar.
Dr. Batra expressed his desire to have Pakistani players in the upcoming edition of the HIL, but not with the kind of misconduct they did in Bhubaneswar. NDTV reported him as saying, “I would love to have Pakistan players but not with the kind of behaviour they displayed in the Champions Trophy. And they have shown no regret of that incident in writing or otherwise. I don't want to politicise the issue but that kind of behaviour was unacceptable. Least we need an apology from 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).
Since 2013, there has been no involvement from the Pakistani players in the HIL as the nine players who were going to take part in the 2013 HIL edition were forced to withdraw following protests from some political parties.
According to the Dawn, Shahnaz Sheikh has issued a statement for the Indian media apologising for the incident that took place in 2014.
Wiert Doyer, the Tournament Director of the Champions Trophy, confirmed that they have received the apology made by the Pakistan team’s head coach.
“Shahnaz Sheikh has apologised and assured me that such behaviour will not occur again and matters’ seemed to have been resolved after Sheikh’s apology, even though the FIH had hinted of possible action against the Pakistani team,” Doyer said.
However, the HI President was full of praise for the HIL, citing the number of players from the HIL in the national team.
“Our aim at HIL is to form a pool of players for the future. We already have eight players from HIL in the national side. HIL has created heroes and space for itself in the big world of cricket,” Dr. Batra concluded.
The Hockey India League auction is scheduled for 17th September and the league will begin early next year.