Saturday, December 4, 2021

Commonwealth Games 2022 hopeful of Hockey India U-turn

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Hockey Paper staff
Latest breaking news, previews and match reports written by Hockey Paper staff

Commonwealth Games officials believe that Hockey India will do a U-turn and compete at Birmingham 2022.

India withdrew its men’s and women’s teams last month, citing Covid-related concerns and “discriminatory and biased” quarantine rules – despite the event being nine months out from the start.

Last week Birmingham 2022 director of sport Matt Kidson said that Hockey India’s omission wasn’t “dead in the water yet” and was “pretty sure” they would reverse their decision.

“The final qualification for hockey is going to be announced in February next year,” Kidson told Inside the Games.

“There is plenty of time for them to change their mind and we have heard some good noises coming out of India that they may well enter teams.

“There is a huge Indian community here that would love to see the Indian hockey team play.

“They did so well in Tokyo, so I am pretty sure they will come over in the end.”

Hockey India’s decision last month came a day after England Hockey withdrew from the upcoming Men’s Junior World Cup in India.

It was also based on the fact that there are 30-odd days from the end of the Commonwealth Games to the start of the Asian Games in China, which counts as an Olympic qualifier.

Kidson added: “It’s their choice and it’s very rare for a team of that size not to come to a Games like this, so I am personally very hopeful.”

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