The FIH Pro League, scheduled to commence in October, will also be dented by the absence of the New Zealand team as well, given the nature of the COVID related protocols in the country. Australia and New Zealand's absence from the FIH Pro League was a collective decision taken by the sporting bodies of the two countries.
Apart from the Junior World Cups and the Pro League, Hockey Australia has also decided to pull out of the Indoor Hockey World Cup to be held in February next year in Belgium as well as the Masters Indoor World Cup in the USA.
Speaking on recent developments, HA Acting CEO Michael Jonston shed light on the reason as to why Australia have come to the decision.
“In Australia, it is apparent the easing of international travel restrictions is still a way off and none of the competing countries wanted to enter the next Pro League season without a level of assuredness," added Jonston.
"Australia not considering overseas Hockey-related trips" - Jonston
Strict international travel restrictions have forced Hockey Australia (HA) to withdraw Australian teams from a number of upcoming tournaments. Jonston further elucidated the risk assessment as a rationale behind Australia's recent pullout from overseas trips.
“Based on risk assessment and current Australian government health advice, Hockey Australia is not considering overseas hockey-related trips at this time,” said HA Acting CEO Michael Johnston.
“In Australia, it is apparent the easing of international travel restrictions is still a way off and none of the competing countries wanted to enter the next Pro League season without a level of assuredness," Jonston added.
Apart from Jonston, HA High Performance Pathways Manager, Ian Rutledge, also shared his thoughts on why the Kookaburras and Hockeyroos will miss out on the big competitions. He said -
“Hockey Australia’s top priority is the safety and wellbeing of its athletes and staff and this decision reflects that."
However, despite these major developments, Australia's Hockeyroos might be a part of the senior Women's World Cup in Spain and the Netherlands in July next year.
The Kookaburras and Hockeyroos are also hoping to be part of the Australian Commonwealth Games team that will head to Birmingham, England, between July 28 and 8 August 2022.