The upcoming FIH Junior Women’s Hockey World Cup in South Africa was launched on Saturday as a new variant of COVID-19 in the country aroused worldwide fears. The prestigious tournament would be held from 5 to 16 December in the Rainbow Nation. However, after the outbreak of a new coronavirus variant in South Africa, the International Hockey Federation (FIH), the South African Hockey Association and the North-West University of Potchefstroom jointly decided that the tournament “will not take place under these circumstances”.
“The safety of everyone involved in the FIH events is an absolute priority. In addition, many countries, including some of the participating teams, have now greatly increased their travel restrictions with South Africa, including stopping flights.
“Therefore, it is simply not possible to maintain this event as planned,” Thierry Weil, CEO of FIH, said in a statement. This is very disappointing. A FIH Junior World Cup is so important for the development of young players.
“It was also the first time that a FIH World Cup would take place on African soil. On behalf of FIH, I would like to thank all the teams for their understanding as well as the local organizers for their excellent work and cooperation.”
The FIH said it would “continue to monitor the situation” and make a decision on the possible hosting of the tournament as soon as it will be possible to do so.
Forward Lalremsiami, who was part of the Indian senior women’s hockey team that finished fourth at the Tokyo Olympics, would lead the country’s 18-member junior group at the tournament in South Africa.
The opportunity was to see 16 top teams from around the world fight for the title previously won by Argentina in 2016.
Earlier in the day, the UK announced that it was suspending flights from South Africa and five other Southern African countries and self-isolating travelers from these countries for 10 days from 1200 GMT on Friday.
From Sunday morning, travelers would have to go in hotel quarantine.
Topics mentioned in this article