Hockey: England withdraw from men's Junior World Cup citing Covid

Hockey: England withdraw from men's Junior World Cup citing Covid

Mumbai, Oct 4 (IANS) The upcoming Men's Junior World Cup in Bhubaneshwar suffered a big setback as England decided to pull out, citing several Covid-19 concerns and with player and staff wellbeing in mind. The Junior World Cup is set to be held from November 24-December 5.

England Hockey have informed the FIH of its decision to, unfortunately, withdraw from the upcoming Men's Junior World Cup, England Hockey said in a release on Monday.

"With a number of Covid-related concerns in place, and with player and staff wellbeing in mind, it has become untenable for our team to participate. We note that on Friday the Indian government announced a mandatory ten-day quarantine for all UK nationals," England Hockey said.

"Our decision sits alongside the recent decisions made by the Australia and New Zealand hockey federations in relation to their withdrawal from t'e men's /'women's Junior World Cups," it added.

Performance Director Ed Barne" 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. This event is the pinnacle of junior international hockey and we know how much effort and dedication the squad has shown over the past 18 months to prepare for this throughout the pandemic."

England Hockey will continue to monitor travel restrictions placed on South Africa ahead of'the Women's Junior World Cup, scheduled for December 2021, the release added.

England were among the 16 teams that includes hosts India, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Belgium Argentina, Malaysia, USA, Pakistan. South Korea and Canada are in the fray.

The FIH will now announce a replacement for England.