India, Pakistan must play each other at FIH events: Narinder Batra

Updated: Nov 13, 2016, 14:55 IST | PTI

Rising political tension has adversely affected the bilateral sporting ties between India and Pakistan but newly-elected FIH chief Narinder Batra on Saturday said the two nations will have to honour their international commitments

India and Pakistan players take the field for the 2014 Asian Games final in Incheon, South Korea. India won gold. Pic/Getty Images
India and Pakistan players take the field for the 2014 Asian Games final in Incheon, South Korea. India won gold. Pic/Getty Images

Dubai: Rising political tension has adversely affected the bilateral sporting ties between India and Pakistan but newly-elected FIH chief Narinder Batra on Saturday 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 next month's FIH Junior World Cup 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 got 68 votes in his favour beating David Balbirnie of Ireland (29 votes) and Australia's Read (13 votes) respectively. Out of 118 voters, only 110 voted while eight abstained as Batra who is the Hockey India president became 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 at the FIH Congress and all 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 viewership and revenue."

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