Team India made the announcement to withdraw its hockey teams from the 2022 Commonwealth Games in England on Tuesday. The reason has been stated to be the strict Covid-19 quarantine rules that over escalated in the two countries. This announcement comes just a day after England pulled out of the FIH Men’s Junior World Cup to be held in Bhubaneswar next month, citing a number of COVID- related concerns including the Indian government’s mandatory 10-day quarantine protocol for all UK nationals. On October 5, 2021, Hockey India president Gyanandro Ningombam communicated the federation’s decision to Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President Narinder Batra.
Team India concerned over COVID-19 protocols
India had last week updated its travel advisory for citizens coming from the United Kingdom in a reciprocal measure. The updated travel advisory states that all British nationals arriving in India from the UK will have to undergo a mandatory 10-day quarantine from Monday irrespective of their vaccination status as part of a reciprocal action against the UK’s new international travel rules with similar measures for Indians.
This came in the backdrop of the UK recently refusing to recognize India’s COVID-19 vaccination certificates and imposed a 10-day hard quarantine on travellers from the country even if they were fully vaccinated.
“England have issued guidelines that 10 days quarantine is required [for] Indian arrivals in England even for those who are fully vaccinated,” Hockey India said in a statement. “We feel these restrictions are biased against India and term it as very unfortunate,” it added.
Before their departure, all Indian citizens flying to the UK should take a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR report within 72 hours of flight’s departure, regardless of their vaccination status, that is, regardless of being double vaccinated with Covishield, a version of the AstraZeneca vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India.
“You will appreciate that the Asian games is the Continental qualification event for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games and keeping the priority of the Asian Games in mind, Hockey India can not risk any members of the Indian teams contracting COVID-19 during the Commonwealth Games,” Ningombam added.
Hockey India withdraws from 2022 Commonwealth Games due to be held in England over COVID concern pic.twitter.com/k9bAuEKylo
— ANI (@ANI) October 5, 2021
- India pulls out of CWG 2022
- They cited the “discriminatory” COVID-19 rules
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