India withdrew from the Commonwealth Games’ hockey competition in Birmingham next year, citing COVID-19 concerns and the UK’s discriminatory quarantine laws for visitors from the nation. President Gyanandro Ningombam of Hockey India informed Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President Narinder Batra of the federation’s decision. Hockey India reasoned that there is just a 32-day window between the Birmingham Games (July 28-August 8) and the Hangzhou Asian Games (September 10-25), and it couldn’t risk sending its players to the United Kingdom, which has been one of the worst hit by the coronavirus outbreak.
“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 wrote.
Even though travellers were completely vaccinated, the UK recently refused to recognise India’s COVID-19 vaccination certificates and enforced a 10-day harsh quarantine on them.
HI’s decision comes a day after England announced its withdrawal from the FIH Men’s Junior World Cup, which will be hosted in Bhubaneswar next month, citing COVID concerns and taking “notice” of the Indian government’s mandated 10-day quarantine policy for all UK nationals.
Following the UK’s limitations, India put reciprocal limits on all British nationals arriving in the country.
According to India’s new rules, all British people arriving from the UK, regardless of vaccination status, must produce the results of an RT-PCR test performed 72 hours before to flight.
They will also be subjected to two further RT-PCR tests, one upon arrival at the airport in India and the other on Day 8 following their arrival.