Dutch women’s team withdraw from FIH Pro League games in India due to COVID outbreak in Netherlands
The Dutch women’s hockey team has pulled out of their back-to-back FIH Pro League games against India to be played in Bhubaneswar on February 19-20 due to rising COVID-19 cases in the Netherlands. , especially the highly contagious omicron variant of the infection.
The Royal Netherlands Hockey Association (KNHB) said it had asked the International Hockey Federation (FIH) to postpone matches to a later date. But, Hockey India on Thursday expressed its surprise at the withdrawal of the Dutch team.
”The KNHB medical board issued a negative opinion for intercontinental travel in January. The advice of this committee is based on the high number of omicron infections in the Netherlands,” the Dutch federation said in a statement.
”After mutual deliberation and consultation with the players, the Dutch national team staff have announced that they wish to follow this advice and do not wish to travel to India at this time. ”The trip to India would last only six days. This means that a possible infection in the Netherlands just before departure could lead to a positive test in India. The consequence of this could be, for example, a mandatory quarantine or the postponement of the return trip. ”Hockey India, on the other hand, expressed surprise at the development.
“Hockey India is quite surprised by the decision of the Netherlands to cancel their trip to India… due to the negative medical report from the KNHB medical committee,” said HI Chairman Gyanendro Ningombam. ”With India’s Covid positivity rate falling to less than 5%, we were confident of successfully staging the matches in a bio-secure bubble similar to that of the FIH Junior Men’s Hockey World Cup held at the same venue just three months ago where 16 teams participated.” Hockey India said it is currently in contact with the FIH regarding the implications of the Netherlands team’s decision.
The Indian team, who were competing in the league for the first time, started their campaign with a bang by beating China 7-1 and 2-1 in back-to-back games in Muscat, Oman on January 31 and February 2.
The Netherlands team have won three matches and drawn so far in the league.
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