Indian hockey team opts out of 2022 Commonwealth Games, cites COVID 19 concerns

In a major development, Indian hockey teams officially pulled out of the 2022 Commonwealth Games. The team cited COVID-19 situation in the UK and the mandatory 10-day quarantine rule for Indians among other issues. 

Hockey India released a statement calling England the worst affected country in Europe and that their priority is the Asian Games, which is the continental qualification event for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The team said that they are prioritising the Asian Games, which is the continental qualification event for the 2024 Paris Olympics, and highlighted the 32-day gap window between the Birmingham Games (July 28-August 8) and the Hangzhou Asian Games (September 10-25). They also added that they can’t risk sending its players to the UK which has been one of the worst affected countries by the coronavirus pandemic.

In their letter addressed to Indian Olympic Association President Narinder Batra, the sports body requested to notify the organisers in advance. “It is pertinent to mention that due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, England have issued guidelines that 10 days quarantine is required for Indian arrivals in England, even for those who are fully vaccinated, since unfortunately the Indian vaccinations are not yet recognised by the English government. Such discriminatory restrictions were not imposed on Indian athletes and officials during the recent Tokyo Olympic Games and this 10 days quarantine requirement for vaccinated sports persons will affect their performances. We feel these restrictions are biased against India and term it as very unfortunate,” said the letter signed by Hockey India President Gyanendro Ningombam. 

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