Hope India visit Pakistan for hockey series: PHF
Karachi: PHF President Qasim Zia is hoping that the upcoming bilateral hockey series between India and Pakistan would not be affected despite fresh tension between the two countries.
Nine Pakistan hockey players were barred from participating in Hockey India League and sent back due to the simmering tension at the border, where Pakistan violated ceasefire.
Indian hockey team is scheduled to play a bilateral series in March.
Zia, however, hoped that things would cool down in the next few days.
"I am hopeful that hockey relations between the two countries will remain normal and the bilateral series we have planned in March will be held on schedule in India and Pakistan," Zia said.
But the PHF chief conceded that when it came to Indo-Pak relations nothing could be said for certain.
"Until few days back everything was okay. Our cricket team also went there and came back without any problems. Our hockey players also got visas. But now situation is different I am hopeful it will normalise soon," he said.
Zia, a former Pakistan captain and Olympian, said he had also told the Indian hockey authorities that since the players had an agreement with them to play in the league they must be compensated accordingly.
"Though the players are returning home but the Indian federation has assured me that the players will be paid according to their agreements," he said.
The PHF President also claimed that he himself had suggested that the Pakistani players who had gone to India for the hockey league be called back.
"I myself spoke to the secretary of Hockey India and told him clearly that I was concerned about the well being of our players who are like our children. I told him that if situation was bad it was better they be sent back home."
Zia said after the incident involving Pakistani players in Mumbai, where Shiv Sena activist protested against their presence in the local team, he took up the security issue with the HI authorities.
"That is why I spoke to the Indian hockey secretary in detail and told him that if they can`t guarantee the security for our players and a untoward situation could develop it is better they be sent back home," he said.