Sports: Hockey: PHF should register a protest to FIH: Naveed Alam

Karachi: Considering the sending back of Pakistan hockey players from India, Pakistan former hockey Olympian Naveed Alam has asked Pakistan Hockey Federation PHF to register strong protest to International Hockey Federation FIH.

Pakistan’s nine hockey players, who were to feature in Hockey India League HIL, have been sent home by the organizer in the wake of protests following border tension between the archrivals.

No Pakistani player featured during the opening match held in New Delhi on Monday.

“This could not be considered as an individual act but an insult to Pakistan as the sportsmen are representatives of the whole country. I ask PHF to register protest with FIH against Hockey India as the affairs of it are affected by political pressures,” Naveed told PPI.

Naveed said that Indians have shown their ugly intolerant face towards Pakistan by protesting and eventually sending Pakistan players back to their home. “Sportsmen are harmless persons and carry a soft image. Sports should be used to diffuse tensions between nations but the Indians did the otherwise,” he said.

Naveed said the players and the federation should reject the money offered by the league organizers in order to keep dignity of Pakistan supreme.

“Money should not be kept above national dignity. I think sending the players back to Pakistan was an insult to the country and the federation and the players should do the same with the Indian organizers by rejecting their money,’ he said.

Naveed criticized the federation for staying polite with their Indian counterparts in spite of the insult to the nation. “The federation should have registered a protest with FIH by now. But the present officials in the PHF doesn’t know what to do in such circumstances as they are not fit for these jobs,” he said.

Pakistan hockey players Mahmood Rashid, Fareed Ahmed, Muhammad Tousiq and Imran Butt, who were hired by Mumbai franchise team, were the first to be asked to leave.

But later others, namely Mohammed Rizwan senior and Mohammed Rizwan junior of Delhi team, Kashif Shah of Jalandhar and Muhammad Irfan and Shafqat Rasool of Ranchi have also been told that they would not be playing in the league, citing tensions created by their presence.

Hindu extremist party Shiv Sena in Mumbai entered the ground on Sunday, where Pakistani players were practicing, and started Anti-Pakistan slogans to protest Pakistani players’ presence in the country.

The two neighbours were at loggerheads last week by a series of cross border exchanges in disputed Kashmir in which four soldiers were killed.

The tensions at the borders had prompted Shiv Sena to demand exclusion of Pakistani players from the league.