New Delhi, Jan 14 (IANS) India captain Sardar Singh on Thursday supported Hockey India’s (HI) stand of not allowing Pakistani players in the cash-rich Hockey India League (HIL) until and unless they apologise for their unruly behaviour during Champions Trophy in Bhubaneswar in December 2014. 

Two Pakistani players — Muhammad Tousiq and Ali Amjad — were handed a one-match ban while Shafqat Rasool was reprimanded by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) for making obscene gestures after their team’s 4-3 win over hosts India in the Champions Trophy semi-final. Following the final hooter, excited Pakistani players took off their shirts and made rude gestures towards the Indian fans and the media at the packed 7,000-capacity Kalinga Stadium. 

Though then Pakistan chief coach Shahnaz Sheikh apologised for the incident, HI boss Narinder Batra has repeatedly demanded an apology from the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF). Now, as the fourth edition of the HIL is set to commence on Monday, once again the debate has begun whether sportspersons should be kept above bilateral differences. The highly talented players from across the border were part of the first edition of HIL in 2013 but had to leave India before the start of the tournament following protests from some political organisations. 

Since then, no Pakistani has played in the six-team tournament. Now, Sardar, who will captain Jaypee Punjab Warriors this year, also asserted that Pakistan must tender an apology before its players can be allowed to play in HIL. “What they did during the Champions Trophy was unacceptable and until and unless they apologise for their misbehaviour they should not be allowed,” Sardar said during the trophy unveiling ceremony of HIL 2016. Though HI remains steadfast on its contention that misbehaviour during Champions Trophy was the reason for its objection, strained ties between the south Asian neighbours may have a lot to do with it.


Taking the debate further, Kalinga Lancers’ German captain Moritz Furste and Ranchi Rays’ English skipper Ashley Jackson felt that, if possible, the organisers must find a way out so that all good players come and play in the league. “HIL is a great event in the world of hockey. In my personal view, players from all over the world should be allowed to play, if possible. I am not much aware of the politics and other things. They (both parties) must find a solution for all players,” said 31-year-old Furste, also a member of the German Olympic Confederation. Jackson, who is playing for Ranchi-based teams since the first edition of HIL, echoed Furste’s opinion.


    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

    Related Posts

    Hashim Amla and Quinton De Kock

    2017 Records: Top Five Highest Team Totals in ODI’s

    Cricket has gained unparalleled popularity in the 21st century, especially the shorter format of the game which has reached heights and has been able...
    Team India 2017 records highest team totals Test Cricket

    2017 Records: Top Five Highest Team Totals in Tests

    The year 2017 saw 43 Tests matches in all being played, and only six out of them finding no result. Most of the matches...
    Sportzwiki, Daily Round up, Ashes 2017-18, Perth, Steven Smith

    Here’s the Daily Sports Round Up From Around the Globe for 15th December, 2017

    Here is the daily sports round-up for December 2017. The brief news threads in the news wrap include the Ashes 2017-18 report followed by the...

    WWE News: Nia Jax Shared a Hilarious Story About Alexa Bliss

    In case you don’t know, two of the real-life best friends in the Raw locker room is Nia Jax and Alexa Bliss. They even...

    WWE News: Triple H Hinted to Lock Horns With The Rock

    Triple H was in India, recently to promote the upcoming live event in December. He was part of numerous media events for the marketing campaigns...