Friday, December 1, 2023

England Hockey pulls out of men’s Junior World Cup in India

England Hockey became the third nation to withdraw from the men’s Junior World Cup in India on Monday, joining Australia and New Zealand.

The event is due to take place in Bhubaneswar late late next month but England Hockey cited “Covid-related concerns” in its decison to the FIH and said participation became “untenable” with a current 10-day quarantine in place for all UK nationals.

The Hockey Paper had reported last week that the governing body had yet to make a decision on competing in the junior showpiece tournament, starting on Nov 24.

Performance Director Ed Barney said: “With a heavy heart we have chosen to withdraw from the tournament. We are hugely empathetic to the players and coaches who will miss out on this opportunity to represent their country.

“We have experienced the herculean effort that went into the Olympic Games, and alongside this we saw the implications across some British sports and our international hockey counterparts when COVID was prevalent.

“On balance, and against clear criterion, we have made the difficult decision that it is not appropriate for our junior international men to travel.”

England Hockey will continue to monitor travel restrictions placed on South Africa ahead of the Women’s Junior World Cup, scheduled for December.

Australia and New Zealand teams pulled out last month, alongside other elite competitions. USA and Canada were invited to the Men’s Junior World Cup in their place, while another spot has now opened with England’s withdrawal.

The teams still set to compete are India, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, South Africa, Egypt, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, USA, Canada, Chile and Argentina.

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