After the suspension of matches in the Europe leg of the Pro League, the Indian men’s hockey team’s home games against New Zealand have also been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The New Zealand men were scheduled to play back-to-back games on May 23 and 24 in Bhubaneswar.
“Following the New Zealand government’s travel restrictions and lockdown, combined with the medical advice of team doctors and in the interests of the health, safety and well-being of our players and support staff, the decision has been made by Hockey New Zealand to cancel our tour of India (men) and China (women) at this present time,” HNZ chief executive Ian Francis said in a statement.
While expressing disappointment, Hockey India accepted that the situation was not conducive. “It is disappointing that the matches need to be cancelled, but these are unavoidable circumstances and we support Hockey New Zealand’s decision. Safety of players and their support staff is a top priority. We hope to host them again soon once the situation improves,” HI CEO Elena Norman said, adding that tickets already bought for the same will be refunded.