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Hockey India withdraws from 2022 Commonwealth Games due to Covid concern


India withdraw from next year’s Commonwealth Games, played in Birmingham.© AFP

India on Tuesday drew on next year’s Birmingham Commonwealth Games hockey competition, citing concerns over COVID-19 and the UK’s discriminatory quarantine rules for travelers from the country. The president of Hockey India, Gyanandro Ningombam, communicated the decision of the federation to the president of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), Narinder Batra. Hockey India has argued that there is only a 32-day window available between Birmingham Games (July 28-August 8) and the Hangzhou Asian Games (September 10-25) and it cannot run the risk of taking its players to the United Kingdom to send. of the countries worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

‘You’ll realize that the Asian Games are the continental qualifier for the Paris Olympics in 2024, and keep in mind the priority of the Asian Games, but Hockey India can not risk any members of the Indian teams taking on COVID-19 during the Commonwealth Games, ‘Ningombam wrote.

The UK recently refused to recognize India’s COVID-19 vaccination certificates and imposed a 10-day hard quarantine on travelers from the country, even if they were fully vaccinated.

HI’s decision comes a day after England withdrew from the FIH Junior World Cup to be held in Bhubaneswar next month, citing a number of concerns related to COVID and ‘taking note’ of the Indian government’s mandatory 10 -day quarantine protocol for all UK subjects.

India has imposed reciprocal restrictions on all British nationals arriving in the country after the British restrictions.

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Under India’s new standards, all UK nationals arriving from the UK, regardless of their vaccination status, must provide the result of the RT-PCR test done within 72 hours of travel.

They will also have to undergo two more RT-PCR tests, one on their arrival at the airport in India and the second on day 8 after arrival.

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