Hockey has suffered its first major setback with the coronavirus outbreak after Hockey Australia suspended international travel “until further notice” for its two national teams ahead of their European Pro League swing.
The decision is a major blow for both the Pro League and Australia’s Olympic preparations. Bet on the Olympics with a little something extra from this Bet365 bonus code available on the Tokyo action. The Hockeyroos and Kookaburras were due to fly to Europe shortly, with games against Spain men, before men’s and women’s double headers against Germany and Holland. Australia women’s match against China had already been postponed.
FIH chief executive Thierry Weil said: “Hockey Australia has informed us about its decision and while it is disappointing, we do understand the reasons for it.
“The upcoming FIH Hockey Pro League matches of Australia in Europe have been put on hold. We will continue to work closely with all parties to try to play these matches at a later stage, if possible.”
FIH said that it is “monitoring the global evolution of the situation closely” and following the recommendations of the World Health Organisation.
If the matches are postponed, Australia would next be due to play international hockey in May. Great Britain are due to recommence their Pro League campaign against Holland in late April
Erik Gerritsen, director of KNHB: “The Australian teams would not only visit the Netherlands, but would also play in Spain and Germany. Based on that planning, the Australian association made its own assessment and decided not to travel to Europe. We understand that, although it is not necessary to make a decision about the matches in the Netherlands at the moment.”
Meanwhile, Argentina women moved to the top of the women’s Pro League ahead of Holland after an assured performance against Australia in Perth. Goals from player of the match Victoria Granatto and Sofia Toccalino were enough to ensure that Las Leonas took six points over the two matches against Australia.
In the men’s match, Australia put on a dominant show to beat Olympic champions Argentina 5-1. On his return to action after injury, Blake Govers was among the scorers, finding the back of the net twice. The result moves Australia ahead of Belgium in the Pro League standings, after they took a total of four points from this weekend’s fixtures.
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