India vs Pakistan Hockey World League semi-final: The national hockey team today in no uncertain terms condemned the recent attacks on Indian soldiers during their Pool B match against Pakistan in the Hockey World League semi-final in London. The opposition got the message loud and clear. The team wore black armbands protesting the frequent attacks on Indian soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir. Not just with the armbands, during the match itself the team delivered a body blow to the neighbours by thrashing them 7-1.
However, this wasn’t the first time that a hockey team showed sympathy for the loss of lives in the Valley with a gesture. Indian goalkeeper PR Sreejesh, who is currently injured, had dedicated the team’s Champions Trophy title in 2016 to soldiers. India had beaten Pakistan in the final then.
Team captain Harmanpreet Singh said that players would use their sport to drive their message . “We wanted to win on the field today to show not only our proud nation but all the World that we will stand up and fight for what we believe in through sport,” he said in a release as per the Indian Express.
“The players of the Indian hockey teams have always shown tremendous belief and support for the Indian Armed Forces who guard the safety of our nation. They are proud of the nation’s soldiers and are often inspired by their dedication and sacrifice. As sportsmen, the Indian hockey teams have always shown solidarity and compassion towards the soldiers and have often dedicated their victories to the Indian Army. Today, the team strongly felt the need to condole the recent attacks carried out in Jammu & Kashmir where Indian soldiers lost their lives. It was a unanimous decision to wear black arm bands to condole these deaths and they wish for peace to prevail in the state of Jammu & Kashmir,” stated Secretary General of Hockey India Mohd Mustaque Ahmad in a statement.
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During their match against Pakistan, India was in full control against their arch-rivals to post a massive win to top Pool B. Talwinder Singh (21st, 24th), Harmanpreet Singh (13th minute, 33rd),Akashdeep Singh (47th, 59th) and Pradeep Mor (49th) were scorers for India, while Pakistan’s one goal came from Muhammad Umar Bhutta (57th), the PTI report said.
After their victory today against Pakistan, India is now top of Pool B with three wins in three matches. They will face Netherlands next.