India has withdrawn hockey teams from Commonwealth Games to be held in Birmingham from July 28 to August 8 next year.
The Indian Hockey Federation in a letter said that the Asian Games which will be held in Hangzhou, China from September 10, 2022, are the priority as there is a short gap between the two games. The Asian Games are more important as it is a qualifier for the 2024 Paris Olympics. Keeping the priority of the Asian Games in mind the Hockey India can not risk any members of Indian teams contracting Covid 19 during the Commonwealth Games, the letter said.
Hockey India Chief Gyanendro Ningombam said that the quarantine measures for Indians arriving in Britain, even if they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, were “very unfortunate” and would affect athletes’ performance.
The decision came a day after England withdrew from the men’s Hockey Junior World Cup, to be held in Bhubaneswar, Orissa from Nov. 24-Dec. 5 citing a number of COVID-related concerns.