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Indian Express: India pull out of Sultan of Johor Cup citing Pakistan presence (4/15/2017)
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Indian Express: India pull out of Sultan of Johor Cup citing Pakistan’s presence

India pull out of Sultan of Johor Cup in Malaysia citing Pakistan's presence in the tournament which will be held in October.

India’s junior hockey team will not be part of the upcoming Sultan of Johor Cup in Malaysia after Hockey India decided to pull out of the tournament citing Pakistan’s presence in the competition. The Johor Cup will be held in Malaysia in October.

This is the second year in a row that Hockey India has pulled out of the competition and said that it is an invitational tournament and since Pakistan hasn’t tendered an unconditional apology for the 2014 Champions Trophy, it will not take part in the tournament. The U-21 tournament, which is played between eight teams, is not an FIH tournament. India won the tournament in 2015.

Earlier, Pakistan did not take part in the Junior Hockey World Cup which was held in Lucknow in 2016. It was after the Pakistan Hockey Federation had alleged that India did not want them in the tournament.

“Though Hockey India and its players had let go of the hurtful incident in 2014, it was the recent allegations by PHF (during the Junior World Cup) that has resulted in India pulling out of this tournament. By not fielding the Indian team at the Sultan of Johor Cup, we have stood our ground to not take part in any series against Pakistan until they submit an unconditional apology for what happened in 2014,” said Hockey India spokesperson R P Singh.

“Since the Sultan of Johor Cup is not a mandatory tournament, Hockey India has decided that it will withdraw from the tournament. We had not brought up the bad behaviour on part of Pakistan during the FIH Champions Trophy in 2014 for a very long time. It is actually PHF who bring it up again and levy baseless allegations against Hockey India to hide their own incompetency. It is about time PHF takes responsibility for it’s incapability,” he added.

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