India pulls out of Sultan of Johor Cup due to Pakistan's presence

This will be the second successive year where India's skipping the tournament. Hockey India had strongly condemned Pakistan Hockey Federation for the baseless allegations levied against it ahead of the 2016 Junior World Cup in Lucknow.

The Indian team that won the Sultan of Johor Cup in 2015.   -  AFP

Hockey India has decided not to send the Indian junior men's team for the Sultan of Johor Cup in Malaysia, citing Pakistan's presence in the competition.

The tournament will be played from October 22 to 29 in Malaysia.

This will be the second successive year where India's skipping the tournament. The junior men's team had won the tournament in 2015.

Hockey India had strongly condemned Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) for the baseless allegations levied against it ahead of the 2016 Junior World Cup in Lucknow.

On December 1, 2016, the PHF had issued a statement rejecting claims by International Hockey Federation (FIH) that it had not submitted travel documents for its players by official deadline, which FIH said resulted in its exclusion from the Junior World Cup. PHF alleged that Hockey India did not want the Pakistan team to participate in the coveted tournament.

However, it was the PHF who had failed to adhere to the deadlines for the submission of the visas within the stipulated time given by the Minsitry of Home Affairs, which states that citizens on Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Sudan and Stateless persons, who must submit their visa applications 60 days prior to the tournament to avoid rejection.

Though Hockey India and its players had let go of the hurtful incident in 2014, it was the recent allegations by PHF that has resulted in India pulling out of the tournament.

Hockey India spokesperson R. P. Singh, Hockey India spokesperson in his statement said, "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."