Pakistan hockey team’s coach Shahnaz Sheikh on Sunday tendered an official apology to FIH and Hockey India for the rude and obscene behavior of his players after their win against India in the semi-finals of the FIH Men’s Champions Trophy 2014 on Saturday.
Pakistani players shamelessly hurled obscene gestures towards Indian fans and media after their 4-3 win over the hosts.
After a meeting with the FIH officials on Sunday, Sheikh sent out an apology letter that was read out in front of the media by FIH representative here, Ken Read.
“The incident that occurred after the match between India and Pakistan on Saturday contained behavior that is considered unacceptable to Pakistan Hockey Federation and the entire hockey fraternity,” Sheikh said in his statement.
“As the result, I have spoken to my team and explained to them that they are guests in India and as hosts they have been very hospitable to the team.
“My team is very much looking forward to the Final tonight against Germany and as part of our preparations, the entire team has decided to bring flowers to the ground for the spectators as an apology for our behaviour,” the Pakistan coach said.
Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) swung into action following Hockey India president Narinder Batra threatened to sever all bilateral hockey ties with Pakistan and demanded an unconditional apology from PHF.
“I am instructing my CEO to inform FIH that in case this kind of behaviour by teams is within normal and tolerable limits of FIH, then we may not be interested to host any more tournaments in India and the tournaments may be shifted to countries which tolerate this kind of nonsense and uncouth behaviour,” the HI president wrote on Facebook.
“There will now be no friendly series on annual basis with Pakistan until an unconditional apology is received from Pakistan Hockey Federation on the uncouth and undesired behaviour of their athletes with spectators and media after the semi-finals on 13 December 2014,” Batra said further in his post.
FIH had earlier on Saturday issued a statement that “no further action is warranted” into the incident.
The tournament now awaits the decision of its Director Wiet Doyers, who is expected to hold another press briefing before the final.