The International Hockey Federation (FIH) chief Kelly Fairweather has refused to play the role of negotiator as the war of words between Pakistan and India over the 2014 Champions incident intensifies.
Fairweather, who was in India for the auction of the Hockey India League (HIL), said the ‘matter was between the two boards’ and as far as the FIH was concerned, the fallout was ‘now in the past.’
“We don’t intend to sit between them. What we will be doing is meeting with the Pakistan Hockey Federation, it’s new leadership and hopefully they will have a new approach,” IBNLive quoted Fairweather as saying on the sidelines of the HIL auction which did not include Pakistani players.
Hockey India President Narinder Batra on Tuesday announced that the HIL would include no Pakistanis until the country’s federation apologised for its players’ behaviour after their semi-final win over India in the 2014 Champions Trophy.
After winning the game 4-3 in a pulsating encounter, several Pakistani players removed their shirts, danced in jubilation, and raised obscene gestures towards the crowd.
The action of the players caused an outrage in India and threatened its participation in the final against Australia. But Pakistan’s coach and captain were quick to apologise for their side’s behaviour which led to the suspension of two players from the final by the FIH.
And Fairweather said there nothing more to it as far as the governing body was concerned.
“That incident, as far as FIH is concerned, is in the past. We took what we believe was the appropriate action. You heard Dr. Batra’s view on this. We are not going to comment any further because, as I said, it is a discussion between the two federations.”
The FIH chief, instead, urged the two former ‘powerhouses’ of hockey to improve the game in their respective countries.
“These are two powerhouses of our hockey, and they not playing the World Cup and Olympics is not good.”
“Our part as international federation is to make sure that Pakistan gets back into international hockey as a force.”
It must be mentioned here that on Wednesday newly-elected PHF Secretary Shahbaz Senior called upon the FIH to resolve the ‘months old’ issue and urged India to keep politics away from sports.
“If they have an issue with PHF they should have sent it in writing, but this kind of conduct is totally intolerable,” Shahbaz said.
“Sports are something in which players and athletes make friends all over and the country’s politics should be kept aside from this,” he added.