New Delhi: Indian hockey team skipper Sardar Singh on Thursday asked the Pakistan players to apologise for their "unacceptable" behaviour during the Champions Trophy in Bhubaneswar in December 2014, backing Hockey India's stand of not allowing the stars from across the border to play in HIL.
"Pakistani players are suffering a lot but what they did during the 2014 Champions Trophy was unacceptable. They still haven't apologised for their behaviour so I feel they shouldn't be allowed (to participate in HIL)," Sardar said on the sidelines of the unveiling of Hockey India League.
Nine Pakistani players were part of the first edition of HIL in 2013 but were forced to leave the country before the start of the tournament following protests from a few political organisations. Since then no Pakistan player has been included in the last three three editions.
The coming edition of HIL also doesn't feature a single Pakistani player and Hockey India made it clear that in future, too, they will not be considered until they apologise for their unruly behaviour in Bhubaneswar.
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) had suspended two Pakistani players Amjad Ali and Mohammad Tousiq from playing in the 2014 Champions Trophy final after they were found guilty of making obscene gestures towards spectators following their semifinal win against India.
The third Pakistani player Shafaqt Rasool, got away with an official reprimand. However, all the players had accepted their guilt.
Amjad and Tousiq were guilty of making obscene gestures with their middle fingers towards a packed gallery.