It's a shame to mix sports with politics:Michael Nobbs

National team coach Michael Nobbs has termed the departure of Pakistani players from the Hockey India League a "shame" but said their absence will not affect the quality of play on display as there are a lot of other stars to watch out for.

It's a shame. Ideally, politics should not be mixed with sports. But unfortunately it is mixed," a visibly disappointed Nobbs said.

Nine Pakistani players were sent back due to simmering tension on the Indo-Pak border over the killing of Indian soldiers.However, Nobbs' response was a plain "not at all" when asked if the their absence would have any impact on the tournament."They were just nine players and franchises are allowed to pick their replacements. I am sure it won't affect the quality of the tournament," he said.

Nobbs, though, was unhappy that tournament would be deprived of such talented players from across the border. The nine players who would be sent back are Mahmood Rashid, Fareed Ahmed, Muhammad Tousiq, Imran Butt (Mumbai Magicians), Mohammed Rizwan Sr. and Mohammad Rizwan Jr. (Delhi Waveriders), Kashif Shah (Jaypee Punjab Warriors) and Muhammed Irfan and Shafqat Rasool (Ranchi Rhinos). The league ran into rough weather after the two Indian soldiers were beheaded by the Pakistan Army on January 8 in Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writer's alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Indian Express Group or its staff. Comments are automatically posted live; however, reserves the right to take it down at any time. We also reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive, obscene, inflammatory, derogatory or defamatory.