By: Pramod Thomas
INDIA’s hockey teams will compete at next year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) president Louise Martin said, reversing their decision to skip the 2022 event.
In October, India had withdrawn its hockey teams from next year’s Games citing Covid-19 concerns and Hockey India’s decision to prioritise the Asian Games in China, a qualifier for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
Martin said India’s teams would take part in the tournament should they secure qualification, a decision that came about after talks with Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Narinder Batra.
“India’s hockey men and women, if they are invited and qualify, will be here. I am delighted,” Martin told Olympics news website Insidethegames.
“India is the biggest country in the Commonwealth. We need all their teams in every sport that they qualify for at these Games.”
The IOA and Hockey India could not be immediately reached for comment.
The Commonwealth Games are scheduled to take place between July 28 and Aug. 8.
A row between the two countries erupted in October after the UK announced its latest travel rules which require travellers from a range of countries, including India, to self-isolate on arrival even if they are fully vaccinated.
New Delhi described these rules as “discriminatory” and announced a decision “to impose reciprocity”.