Why Hockey India withdrew from Cwg 2022

Hockey India (HI) recently announced it will be withdrawing their teams from the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Birmingham (CWG) 2022. The decision was made by India’s highest hockey body, Hockey India, and was announced just a day after England’s junior men’s national team withdrew from the World Junior Championships in Bhubaneswar for similar reasons.

“Therefore, Hockey India will not send its men’s and women’s teams to the 2022 Commonwealth Games and informs you in advance to kindly inform the organizers to identify reserve teams,” Hockey India President Gyanandro Ningombam said in a letter to the Indian Olympic Federation (IOA). ) President Narinder Batra.

Why will India not compete?

Hockey India cited two main reasons for withdrawing from the upcoming CWG. First, the small gap between the Birmingham Games (July 28-August 8) and the Asian Games in Hangzhou (September 10-August 25) meant that Indian hockey players would still be recovering from the previous tournament. Given that the Asian Games are qualifiers for the 2024 Paris Olympics, it is understood that HI attaches more importance to this tournament.

Batra has also previously indicated that HI is focusing on keeping its players in top form for the Asian Games qualifying event.

“You will appreciate that the Asian Games are a continental qualifying event for the 2024 Paris Olympics and given the priority of the Asian Games, Hockey India cannot risk no member of Indian teams contracting COVID-19 during the Commonwealth Games,” Ningombam wrote.

Vaccine bias

Perhaps equally important is the fact that Indian teams traveling to the United Kingdom would be subject to strict quarantine upon arriving there. The UK has refused to recognize India’s vaccine certificate, even though Covishield is an AstraZeneca vaccine produced in India. The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has been used in the UK since the vaccine was developed. Even if Indians are fully vaccinated with the same vaccine used by the UK itself, they would have to be quarantined 10 days after arriving in the country.

“We think these restrictions are biased against India and we call it very unfortunate,” Ningombam said.

“Such discriminatory restrictions were not imposed on Indian athletes and officials during the recent Tokyo Olympics and this requirement for a 10-day quarantine for vaccinated athletes will affect their performance,” Ningombam said.

Back pressure

The England national team recently withdrew from next month’s Junior World Championships in Bhubaneswar, citing concerns about COVID-19 as well as new mandatory quarantine protocols imposed by India on all UK citizens.

India’s decision was revenge against discriminatory restrictions for Indian travelers to the United Kingdom. Travelers from the United Kingdom to India will now have to be quarantined for 10 days and produce three different RT-PCR negative results in different time frames in order to be able to move freely within the country.

The vaccination dispute has led to the two hockey teams not meeting each other since the Tokyo Olympics. The Indian men’s national team beat Germany in the semifinals and won a bronze medal while the British defeated India win bronze.

(Edited by: Shoma Bhattacharjee)

First published: IST

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