Indian Hockey Teams Withdraw From 2022 Commonwealth Games; Know The Reason

New Delhi: The Indian hockey teams won’t participate in next year’s Birmingham Commonwealth Games because of COVID-19 concerns and UK’s discriminatory quarantine rules for travellers from India.

Hockey India (HI) president Gyanandro Ningombam wrote to Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Narinder Batra on Tuesday informing him about the decision.

HI pointed out that there is only a 32-day window available between the Birmingham Games (July 28-August 8, 2022) and Hangzhou Asian Games (September 10-25, 2022), so it can’t risk sending the teams to the UK, which is one of the worst-affected countries by the coronavirus pandemic.

“You will appreciate that the Asian Games is the Continental qualification event for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games and keeping the priority of the Asian Games in mind, Hockey India can not risk any member of the Indian teams contracting COVID-19 during the Commonwealth Games,” Ningombam wrote.

The UK doesn’t recognize India’s COVID vaccination certificates. Hence Indians travelling to the UK have to undergo a 10-day quarantine, even if they were fully vaccinated.

In a tit-for-tat, the Indian government imposed similar curbs on British nationals arriving in the country.

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