London, June 19 (IANS) The International Hockey Federation (FIH) on Monday distanced itself from its chief Narinder Batra's criticism of the UK police for summoning former India captain Sardar Singh in connection with an year-old sexual assault case.

Batra was angered by the fact that the local police decided to summon Sardar to Leeds right in the middle of the Champions Trophy which is currently underway here.

"The International Hockey Federation is aware of recent comments made by FIH President Narinder Dhruv Batra via his personal social media channels. The FIH would like to emphasise that these comments were the personal thoughts of Dr Batra and not representative of the views of the FIH," the FIH said in a statement.

"The FIH would like to apologise for any offence that these comments may have caused. At the request of FIH, these comments have now been deleted and the matter will be reviewed internally in line with our governance processes."

Earlier, an angry Batra had taken a dig at the British government on social media.

"England is a country which is a safe haven for all fraudsters who have run away from India and agree to invest in England," Batra had posted on Facebook in a rather obvious reference to fugitive Indian businessman Vijay Mallya.

"I would love to see the reaction of England and world media if in India the England players are called to police stations. Request the Indian media to get the Ministry of External Affairs and Indian High Commission in UK involved," the post added.

The Facebook post was later deleted.

Last year, British-Indian women's hockey player Ashpal Bhogal had accused Sardar of sexual assault. Ashpal, who claimed to be Sardar's fiancee, had alleged that the India team star had assaulted her both in India and the UK.

--IANS

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