Indo-Pak hockey is not advisable: IOA committee

Terming Pakistan's decision to pull out of the four-nation hockey tournament in India as 'expected one', the IOA-appointed ad-hoc committee said.

updated: December 31, 2008 07:45 IST
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New Delhi:

Terming Pakistan's decision to pull out of the four-nation hockey tournament in India as 'expected one', the Indian Olympic Association-appointed ad-hoc said in the current scenario playing hockey with Pakistan was not at all advisable.

Pakistan was scheduled to take part in a four-nation hockey event to be played in Chandigarh and Jalandhar next February involving Netherlands, Germany and hosts India as the other teams.

However, in-a-tit-for-tat response, Pakistan government has hinted that it will not send its national team for the tournament after India shunned their cricket tour following last month's Mumbai terror attacks that killed nearly 180 people.

Confirming that Pakistan has opted out of the tournament, IOA President and ad-hoc committee Chairman, Suresh Kalmadi said, the organisers would be roping in another foreign team in place of Pakistan.

"Pakistan is not playing . We are in process of inviting another foreign team, " Kalmadi told PTI.

Asked whether the withdrawl came as a shock to the ad-hoc committee, he replied in negative.

"It was not at all shocking. In fact it was expected move. We did not send our junior team there in November due to security concerns. I think we have to wait till the things cool down. In present circumstances we should not tour Pakistan or vise versa." he said.

Former Olympians Aslam Sher Khan and Dhanraj Pillay, who are also members of Indian hockey's ad-hoc selection committee, opined that the present tension between the two countries will definitely have an impact on bilateral sporting ties .

"Pakistan is saying that it is highly unlikely that the government would allow sportspersons to visit India for international events. I think we should not invite them either. We must not play hockey with Pakistan for the time being." said Pillay.

Aslam said there is no security concern in India and it has been proved with the English cricket team's recent test tour.

"We did not send our junior hockey team to Pakistan as there were genuine security concerns. Although it is not the case in India.

"If India is unsafe it is due to Pakistan only. Pakistani terrorists are killing our people. Pakistan still need proof while the terrorist himself is saying that he is a Pakistani. Life of our countrymen is the topmost priority, sports can take backseat." he said.

Aslam, however, feels that lack of Indo-Pak hockey was not good for the sport in both the countries, while Kalmadi and Pillay believe that in short term it will not affect.