England Hockey have informed the FIH of its decision to unfortunately withdraw from the upcoming Men’s Junior World Cup.
The event is due to take place in Bhubaneswar from 24 November to 5 December, but 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 on Friday the Indian government announced a mandatory ten-day quarantine for all UK nationals.
Our decision sits alongside the recent decisions made by the Australia and New Zealand hockey federations in relation to their withdrawal from the men’s / women’s Junior World Cups.
Performance Director Ed Barney said: “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.
“We have experienced the herculean effort that went into the Olympic Games, and alongside this we saw the implications across some British sports and our international hockey counterparts when COVID was prevalent. On balance, and against clear criterion, we have made the difficult decision that it is not appropriate for our junior international men to travel.
“With final tournament details having been published late last month, it has made the situation very difficult for all concerned. Hockey India and the FIH done all they can and for this we are hugely appreciative, but in a global pandemic, our collective hands are tied, sadly.”
England Hockey will continue to monitor travel restrictions placed on South Africa ahead of the Women’s Junior World Cup, scheduled for December 2021.