New Delhi: India hockey skipper Sardar Singh and former captain Ajit Pal Singh today said that the players from Pakistan should be allowed to be a part of the Hero Hockey India League (HIL) as it would improve the overall standard of the league. However, both Sardar and Ajit Pal said that the HIL officials must follow the Indian government's decision whether to allow the Pakistanis to play in the league.
"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 during a promotional event of the Delhi Waveriders here today.
Ajit Pal echoed similar sentiments, saying, "As a sportsman, I would say they should be allowed. But one must understand the situation." As many as nine players from Pakistan had come to India for the inaugural edition of HIL in the year 2013, but they were forced to leave the country even before the start of the competition as there were protests from some political organisations.
Thereafter they have never been a part of the league because of continuous political tensions between the two neighbours. To add to this, last month, two Pakistani players were handed one-match suspensions by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) for making obscene gestures at spectators after their win over India in the Champions Trophy semi-final at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.