Sardar Singh wants Pakistani players to be allowed in the HIL
Sardar Singh and Ajit Pal Singh want Pakistani hockey players to take part in the Hockey India League, but understand the situation.
New Delhi, January 19 (IANS)
Current Indian hockey captain Sardar Singh and former skipper Ajit Pal Singh on Monday said that Pakistani players should be allowed to play in Hockey India League (HIL).
The duo, however, added that the decision to allow the Pakistan players is an administrative issue and HIL officials should follow the Indian government's order regarding it.
"Pakistan have good players and they should be allowed to play in the HIL. Good players need to play in the league. But I also understand the situation and one must follow the government's stand on it," Sardar said here.
Ajit Pal also echoed Sardar's sentiments and said that India and Pakistan should play bilateral series' to promote the sport.
"As a sportsman, I would say they should be allowed. But one must understand the situation," Ajit Pal said.
Nine Pakistani players were part of the first edition of HIL in 2013 but had to leave the country before the start of the tournament following protests from a few political organisations.
Since then, they have not taken part in the league, owing to political tensions between the two countries.
To make matter worse, two Pakistani players were handed one-match suspensions by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) for making obscene gestures at spectators following their victory over India in the Champions Trophy semi-final at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar in December.