Following the discovery of a novel coronavirus type in South Africa, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) chose to hold the Women's Junior Hockey World Cup on Friday. The tournament was set to begin on December 5.
The FIH stated in a statement that the decision to cancel the women's under-21 world championship was made in collaboration with the South African Hockey Association and the North-West University of Potchefstroom.
"The safety of everyone engaged in FIH events is of the utmost importance. Furthermore, numerous nations, including some of the participating teams, have tightened travel restrictions on South Africa, including suspending flights. As a result, it is simply not possible to hold this event as scheduled. This is really disheartening, "Thierry Weil, CEO of the FIH, said.
The quick cancellation of the event surprised Indian players who were "in the process of packing." The news was apparently given by Indian women's head coach Janneke Schopman, who is also the coach of the tournament's under-21 side.
Meanwhile, other sports teams were hurrying to return home when the United Kingdom government stated that flights from South Africa would be prohibited in order to combat the spread of a new COVID-19 type.
India A cricket squad is also in South Africa on a shadow tour in preparation for the next, high-profile South Africa vs. India series. After a wash-out on day four, the first unofficial Test ended in a tie in Bloemfontein on Friday. The second match of the three-match series is set to begin on November 29 at the same location. However, the remaining matches, as well as India's trip, may be cancelled.