Pakistan Hockey team congratulates India on their Asian Champions Trophy victory
The Indian men’s hockey team beat arch-rivals Pakistan 3-2 on Sunday in the final of the Asian Champions Trophy at the Wisma Belia Hockey Stadium, Kuala Lumpur. Goals from Rupinder Pal Singh, Yousuf Affan, and Nikkin Thimmaiah helped India surmount the challenge from Pakistan, who rallied from two goals behind through strikes by Muhammad Aleem Bilal and Ali Shaan in the title clash of the fourth edition of the tournament.
However, the current socio-political relations between India and Pakistan are strained due to the increasing violence on the Line of Control (LoC). Additionally, bilateral sporting tours were under strain as the media reported that sporting relations between the two countries might be hindered due to the ongoing issue.
Umpire Aleem Dar was withdrawn from the list of umpires' to chair in India due to a recent ruling by the International Cricket Council (ICC) which can be accounted for ongoing tension between both the nations.India even adopted a boycott policy as they did not also invite Pakistan to participate in recently concluded Kabaddi World Cup.
However, the recent tension between the countries did not affect the hockey fraternity as the Pakistan Hockey team took to Twitter to congratulate the Men In Blue for their victory. They extended their courtesy stating it was memorable playing the final against India.
Congratulations India for an amazing final match! It's always a pleasure to finish a tournament with @TheHockeyIndia! Well deserved— Pakistan Hockey (@SalaamHockey) 30 October 2016
During the game, Pakistan appealed the referee's decision for a foul that hit Birendra Lakra's leg. But Lakra's next move gave immense pride to sportspersons all across the globe, as he came running up to him and said, “it is a penalty corner, please don't use up their last referral, your position was such that you might have missed it.” The referee was amazed at his honesty and immediately instructed the reviewer to halt the checking process.
Things have started to look good however for the bilateral relations as a recent report released mentioned that India has permitted the Pakistan Junior Hockey team to practice in Lucknow for the upcoming Junior World Cup.
This is the second time India have won the Asian Championship title. India had won the inaugural edition of the Asian Champions Trophy by defeating Pakistan in the final in 2011. Pakistan reversed the result winning it two consecutive times to retain it (2012, 2013). Hopefully, the goodwill shared by the two hockey teams can permeate to the rest of the citizens of the countries.