Netherlands pull out of FIH Pro League matches in India

An overview of the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar. (PC: Getty Images)
An overview of the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar. (PC: Getty Images)

The Netherlands women's hockey team has pulled out of the FIH Hockey Pro League matches in India. The Dutch team was scheduled to play two matches against India at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on February 19 and 20.

The Dutch team received a negative travel advisory for its travel to India, forcing the Dutch Hockey Association to cancel its upcoming trip to India.

The Dutch hockey team has cited negative intercontinental travel advice received from the KNHB (Royal Dutch Hockey Association) Medical Committee and NOC medical staff as the reason to cancel its trip to India.

Read: FIH Women's Hockey World Cup 2022 draw to take place on February 17

Hockey India shocked by Netherlands' pull-out

Hockey India on Thursday expressed surprise and disappointment over the cancelation.

Commenting on the Netherlands' decision, Hockey India President Gyanendro Ningombam said:

"Hockey India is quite surprised by the Netherlands decision to cancel their trip to India for the double header FIH Women’s Hockey Pro League which was scheduled for 19th and 20th February in Bhubaneswar owing to the negative medical report given by the KNHB medical committee."

Ningombam added:

"With the COVID-19 positivity rate in India falling to less than 5 per cent, we were confident of successfully hosting the matches in a secure bio bubble similar to that of the FIH Hockey Men's Junior World Cup held at the same venue just three months ago where 16 teams participated."

Hockey India is currently in contact with FIH regarding the implications of the decision of the Netherlands team not to come to India for these two previously-agreed matches scheduled for next week.

Meanwhile, the Indian women's hockey team has made a flying start to its FIH Pro League campaign held in Muscat. With wins over China, India are now at the top of the table, tied alongside the Dutch hockey team, with six points.

Also read: Hockey India announces senior women's team core probable group for upcoming major tournaments

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Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
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