Pakistan Hockey Federation Secretary Shahbaz Ahmad on Monday stated that Hockey India still wants a formal apology from the PHF over the 2014 Champions Trophy incident in Bhubaneswar. According to him, former Hockey India chief and current FIH President Narinder Batra has repeatedly sought a formal apology from the PHF over that controversial incident.
Pakistani players removed their shirts and made obscene gestures at the crowd at the full-house stadium after winning the semi-final of the Champions Trophy against the hosts.
"Narinder Batra has repeatedly asked me to send a formal apology for the alleged bad behaviour of Pakistani players after the Champions Trophy semifinal against India," Shahbaz told PTI.
"Batra still wants the apology although we feel that our team was not allowed to take part in the World Junior Cup held in India last month only because of this issue," the former Pakistan captain said.
"They said we did not confirm our participation on time. We did not get visas from the Indian High Commission. But in the end, I got this feeling it was all due to that incident in 2014. Pakistan hockey was punished for it," he said.
The former player conceded that Pakistan hockey had been hit because of not being allowed to play the World Junior Cup in Lucknow in December last year which India eventually won.
"We had eyes on some of the players and we wanted to see how they perform under pressure on Indian soil. It never happened."
Shahbaz also stated that given the existing strained relations between Pakistan and India, the PHF is not in a position to submit any apology.
"The previous PHF management has already expressed regrets for what happened but in such an atmosphere it is better if this matter is closed and hockey bilateral relations are looked at," he said.
He said the PHF has written to its international parent body as well as International Olympic Committee over the way the country was not allowed to field a team in the Junior World Cup held in India last year but nothing has happened so far.
"Nothing has happened so far. We want a logical solution because next year the World Cup will be held in India as well," said Shahbaz.
(With inputs from PTI)