Hockey India has decided against sending its junior team for the Sulatn of Johor Cup to be held in Malaysia this October. It’s the second time in the row that Hockey India has decided to pull out of this tournament. By doing so, it continues to stick to its stand of not taking part in any series against Pakistan. Lets dig a little into how the PHF reacted as India refused to play Pakistan at International level.
A top PHF official said – “I just hope that the Indian Hockey officials see sense and stop this boycott because it will not help international hockey.” He continued to say that – “Pakistan is no longer a powerhouse in world hockey and has dropped in rankings, which is why everyone is treating it this way. But they forget the influential role played by Pakistan in making field hockey a popular sport in the world.”
The relation between Hockey India and Pakistan Hockey Federation has remained strained ever since the unfortunate incident that took place in the semi finals of 2014 Champions Trophy between India and Pakistan. Pakistani players had displayed lewd and unprofessional behaviour by taking their shirts off and making obscene gestures at the crowd post winning the semi finals against India in Bhubaneswar. Hockey India has since then sought an unconditional apology from PHF.
Things took a more ugly turn last year when the PHF openly blamed Hockey India for not wanting their team to participate in the 2016 Junior World Cup held in India. However, India had rejected any such claim by PHF.
Speaking on the matter former Captain and Olympian Islahuddin Siddiqui said – “Hockey India is not being fair and they are trying to hurt Pakistan Hockey but in the end it will damage World Hockey.”
More recently, the PHF was very disappointed after they have not been allowed to participate in the upcoming Azlan Shah Tournament in Malaysia.
“We apologized and our players were penalized so what else do they want us to do.” – said an agitated Shahnaz Sheikh, who had accompanied the Pakistan team to the Champions Trophy 2014 as their coach.