NEW DEHLI: India’s hockey captain Sardar Singh has thrown his weight behind the participation of Pakistani players in the Hockey India League (HIL), saying there was no room for politics in sport.
As many as nine Pakistani players were part of the first edition of HIL in 2013 but were barred from playing after pressure from political parties in India. Players from the country were not considered the following year owing to political tensions between the two countries.
“Pakistan have good players and they should be allowed to play in the HIL. Good players need to play in the league. But I also understand the situation and one must follow the government’s stand on it,” Sardar said.
Former skipper Ajit Pal also echoed Sardar’s sentiments and said that India and Pakistan should play bilateral series’ to promote the sport.
“As a sportsman, I would say they should be allowed. But one must understand the situation,” Ajit Pal said.
Pakistan and India last faced off in the semi-final of the Champions Trophy, which the Greenshirts won 4-3. The enthusiastic celebrations by Muhammad Imran’s side at the end of the match caused a furore in India and soured relations between the two federation to some extent.
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