England have pulled out of the FIH Men's Hockey Junior World Cup to be held in Bhubaneshwar. The reason given for their withdrawl is the mandatory COVID-19 related quarantine rules imposed by the Indian government for all UK citizens.
England Hockey, in a statement, said the decision to withdraw from the Hockey Junior World Cup, scheduled to be held in Bhubaneshwar next month, had been communicated to the FIH.
"With a number of COVID-related concerns in place, and with player and staff wellbeing in mind, it has become untenable for our team to participate. We note that the Indian government has announced a mandatory ten-day quarantine for all UK nationals," the statement said.
India imposed reciprocal curbs on all British nationals arriving in the country after the UK made it clear that even fully vaccinated Indians will have to undergo a 10-day quarantine there as it has issues with India's COVID-19 vaccine certification.
Under India's new norms, all British nationals arriving from the UK, irrespective of their vaccination status, will have to produce the result of the RT-PCR test done within 72 hours before travel.
They will also have to undertake two more RT-PCR tests, one on their arrival at the airport in India and the second on the eighth day after arrival.
Junior hockey players missing out on marquee event
England hockey said its decision to withdraw sits alongside recent pullouts by the Australian and New Zealand hockey federations.
England Hockey's Performance Director Ed Barney said the decision to withdraw from the prestigious event wasn't an easy one.
"With a heavy heart we have chosen to withdraw from the tournament. We are hugely empathetic to the players and coaches who will miss out on this opportunity to represent their country. This event is the pinnacle of junior international hockey and we know how much effort and dedication the squad has shown over the past 18 months to prepare for this throughout the pandemic."
England Hockey said it will continue to monitor travel restrictions placed on South Africa ahead of the Women's Junior World Cup, scheduled for December.
Q. Do you think England is right in pulling out of the Junior Hockey World Cup, given the reasons?