DUBAI – Rising political tension has adversely affected the bilateral sporting ties between India and Pakistan, but newly-elected International Hockey Federation (FIH) chief Narinder Batra on Sunday said the two nations will have to honour their international commitments.
The tension at the border has cast a shadow over Pakistan’s participation in the FIH Junior World Cup to be held next month in Lucknow, but Batra’s comments make it clear that the two neighbours are set to clash against each other on Indian soil.
“There is no doubt that there are political tensions between India and Pakistan and no one can ignore that. But in international competitions, both India and Pakistan will have to play each other anywhere,” Batra said soon after becoming the first non-European President of FIH.
Batra, who is the Hockey India (HI) President, defeated David Balbirnie of Ireland and Australia’s Ken Read to become the 12th FIH President — the first Asian to grab the post in the world body’s 92-year-old history.
Batra said both India and Pakistan hockey federations have settled their differences which had cropped up following Pakistani players wild and indecent celebrations after victory over India in the 2014 Champions Trophy in Bhubaneswar.
“Delegates of India and Pakistan hockey federations have met here yesterday on the sidelines of the FIH Congress and all old issues between the two federations have been sorted,” he said.
Hoping for the resumption of Indo-Pak hockey ties, the FIH chief said: “Any India-Pakistan encounter is always of high intensity and attracts great viewership which in turns translates into revenue.”-Online