The Indian women’s hockey team was on Thursday forced out of the ongoing Asian Champions Trophy after one of its players tested positive for COVID-19, joining Malaysia which was also compelled to withdraw after being hit by the dreaded virus in Donghae, South Korea. (More Hockey News)
A day after the cancellation of its matches against defending champions Korea and China respectively, an Asian Hockey Federation source told PTI that the Indian team is no longer competing in the event.
The side is currently in quarantine and the identity of the player who has tested positive has not been revealed. “Last edition's runners-up India are out of the tournament due to a positive case in the squad. India will no longer participate any further in the tournament,” the AHF source said.
While India were scheduled to take on hosts Korea on Wednesday, they were slated to meet China on Thursday. “With the health and safety of the players being paramount, the Indian Women’s Hockey Team's match against China on 9th December will not take place,” Hockey India had tweeted on Wednesday.
The pandemic had cast its shadow on the tournament on Monday itself when India's second match against Malaysia was cancelled due to COVID-related issues. Malaysia were eventually forced out after one of its players, Nurul Faezah Shafiqah Khalim, tested positive for Covid-19 upon arrival.
India had earlier thrashed a lowly Thailand 13-0 with drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur scoring five goals. India are the highest-ranked team taking part as they sit ninth in the International Hockey Federation's women's rankings.
The Women’s Asian Champions Trophy was originally scheduled for 2020 but was postponed multiple times because of the COVID-19 pandemic.