No bi-lateral series till you submit 'unconditional apology': Hockey India tells PHF

| Updated: Jan 31, 2017 16:58 IST

New Delhi [India], Jan. 31 (ANI): Hockey India has announced that it would not be playing any bi-lateral series against Pakistan unless the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) submits an 'unconditional apology' for the misbehaviour of its players during the 2014 Champions Trophy. The players of the Pakistan hockey team had taken off their shirts and made obscene gestures at the crowd after winning the semi-final against India, following which the hockey relations between the two arch rivals soured. Recently, Pakistan was also denied permission to participate in the Junior Hockey World Cup in India and PHF secretary Shahbaz Ahmed had alleged that it was because of the 2014 Champions Trophy incident in Bhubaneswar. However, issuing a press release, the Hockey India said, "In response to recent reports in the media filed basis an interview with Pakistan Hockey Federations Secretary, Shahbaz Ahmed; Hockey India today put on record their view regarding the bilateral relations between Hockey India and the Pakistan Hockey Federation." "While Hockey India feels most of the issues raised by Mr. Shahbaz Ahmed should have been addressed to the International Hockey Federation, however there are a few clarifications which Hockey India would like to address," the release stated. The hockey federation further said that the matter of the Pakistan team not participating in the Uttar Pradesh Men's Hockey Junior World Cup 2016 was completely a matter of "rules and regulations" regarding visa applications and other formalities not being adhered to by the PHF within the required stipulated period of time. "The Pakistan Hockey Federation failed to submit the visa applications for their team 60 days prior to the start of the tournament as per the required deadlines as stipulated in the permissions of the Government of India. (A copy of the permission is attached and the same was sent to the Pakistan Hockey Federation on 29 August 2016)," the Hockey India said. "It is very clearly stipulated that the Government of India Ministry of Home Affairs had requested for residents of Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, Stateless persons and Pakistan to submit their visa application at least 60 days prior to the commencement of the tournament to avoid the visa applications being rejected." "Since Pakistan Hockey Federation failed to adhere to the deadlines for the submission of their visas, Hockey India cannot be blamed for the consequent rejection of invitation by FIH. FIH also sent numerous reminders for Pakistan Hockey Federation for the submission of the Pakistan teams visa, the decision of FIH to withdraw the Pakistan Hockey team from the Hockey Junior World Cup 2016 was solely at their discretion and has nothing to do with Hockey India," the release added. Speaking on the matter, Dr. R.P. Singh, Spokesman Hockey India, Athlete Representative on the Executive Board of Hockey India said, "It is a shame that Pakistan Hockey Federation has again raised the issue of the misbehavior 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." "In light of this and the perpetual lies told by Pakistan Hockey Federation to blame others for their own inefficiencies, Hockey India has again taken the decision to not play any bi-lateral series against Pakistan unless they submit an unconditional regret in writing for the lewd and unprofessional behavior of the Pakistan team during the FIH Champions Trophy 2014 and their habit of telling perpetual lies to media regarding Hockey India." "We once again reiterate that Pakistan Hockey Federation should learn to take responsibility for their incompetence and in-capabilities and stop blaming India to please their local audience. It is high time Pakistan Hockey Federation learns to work as an Organisation and stops blaming others for their own internal problems," he added. (ANI)