30 January, New Delhi
Hockey India (HI) on Monday decided not to play any bilateral series against Pakistan unless the latter’s federation submits an unconditional apology in writing for the lewd and unprofessional behaviour of its players during the FIH Champions Trophy 2014.
HI’s stand comes in the wake of Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) Secretary Shahbaz Ahmed recently blaming the Indian federation for taking revenge on it for the 2014 incident in Bhubaneswar’s Kalinga Stadium by not giving them visas to take part in the 2016 Junior World Cup in Lucknow.
HI maintained that the PHF failed to submit the visa applications for its team 60 days prior to the start of the tournament as per the required deadlines as stipulated by the Government of India.
“It is a shame that the PHF has again raised the issue of the misbehaviour of the Pakistan hockey team during the FIH Champions Trophy in 2014 as an excuse and opportunity to blame Hockey India for their own incompetence that resulted in the Pakistan team not participating in the Hockey Junior World Cup 2016,” HI Spokesman R.P. Singh said in a statement.
“In light of this and the perpetual lies told by PHF to blame others for their own inefficiencies, HI has again taken the decision to not play any bilateral series against Pakistan unless they submit an unconditional regret in writing for the lewd and unprofessional behaviour of the Pakistan team during the FIH Champions Trophy 2014 and their habit of telling perpetual lies to media regarding HI,” he added.
“We once again reiterate that PHF should learn to take responsibility for their incompetence and incapabilities and stop blaming India to please their local audience. It is high time PHF learns to work as an Organisation and stops blaming others for their own internal problems.”
HI said that PHF should register its complain with the world hockey governing body FIH, instead of blaming its Indian counterpart.
HI also clarified that it had put the matter of the 2014 incident — in which some of the Pakistani players displayed their elation by taking their jerseys off and flashing their middle fingers at the crowd — to an end after then HI President Narinder Dhruv Batra had a “meaningful dialogue with PHF representatives in the presence of Asian Hockey Federation officials in Dubai in November 2016.