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Women’s FIH Pro League 2021-22: Netherlands Call Off India Trip Due To COVID Scare

The KNHB cited they have received negative advice for international travel from the medical committee after high number of Omicron infections in the Netherlands.

The Netherlands have won three matches and drawn one so far in the Women's FIH Pro League 2021-22.
The Netherlands have won three matches and drawn one so far in the Women's FIH Pro League 2021-22. Twitter (@oranjehockey)

Hockey India were left surprised on Thursday after the Dutch women’s hockey team pulled out of their back-to-back FIH Pro League matches against India in Bhubaneswar on February 19 and 20, citing the rise in COVID-19 cases in the Netherlands as the reason behind such decision. (More Hockey News)

“The KNHB medical committee issued negative advice for intercontinental travel in January. This committee's advice is based on the high number of omicron infections in the Netherlands,” the Dutch federation said in a statement.

“After mutual deliberation and consultation with the players, the staff of the Dutch national team announced that they wanted to follow this advice and that they did not want to travel to India at the moment,” the statement added.  

“The trip to India would only last six days. This means that a possible infection in the Netherlands just before departure could lead to a positive test in India. The consequence of this could be, for example, a mandatory quarantine or having to postpone the return journey.”

However, the Royal Dutch Hockey Association (KNHB) said it has requested the International Hockey Federation (FIH) to postpone the matches to a later date. Hockey India said it is currently in contact with FIH regarding the implications of the decision of the Netherlands team.

“Hockey India is quite surprised by the Netherlands decision to cancel their trip to India ... owing to the negative medical report given by the KNHB medical committee,” Hockey India President Gyanendro Ningombam said.

“With Covid 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.”

India, making their debut in the women’s FIH Pro League, have started with a bang beating China 7-1 and 2-1 in back-to-back matches in Muscat. Netherlands, on the other hand, have won three matches and drawn one so far in the FIH Pro League.

With PTI Inputs

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