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National hockey meet in Simdega postponed due to covid spike

The 11th Hockey India Junior Women National Championship put off after players test positive

Raj Kumar
Ranchi, April 1:
The 11th Hockey India Junior Women National Championship 2021, scheduled to begin on April 3 in Jharkhand’s Simdega district, was called off on Wednesday till further notice in light of the rising number of covid-19 cases. 
Hockey India made the formal announcement following an emergent meeting with district administration of Simdega and authorities of state government amid the emerging concerns of fresh infections. 


Players test Covid positive


Sources said the organizers were forced to review the situation after about a dozen players from different state teams, which has already started arriving since Tuesday, tested positive for covid-19 following mandatory testing upon arriving in the host venue. About 26 teams across the country are to take part in the meet, which was to be held till April 12.  
“In light of the rising number of covid-19 cases and after advice from the local state authorities, Hockey India in consultation with the host Hockey Jharkhand arrived at the decision to postpone the 11th Hockey India Junior Women National Championship 2021. Hockey Jharkhand received tremendous support from the state government to host the recently concluded 11th Hockey India Sub Junior Women National Championship 2021. However, with new protocols and guidelines in the state to combat the rapid rise of cases, it was in the best interest of the players that this decision was taken. For Hockey India, player safety is paramount,” said Hockey India President Gyanendro Ningombam in a formal statement, adding that all the participating member units have been informed by Hockey India.


Astroturf stadium declared quarantine centre


The Astroturf stadium in Simdega has now been declared as quarantine centre to tackle the possible surge in cases.
 “Meanwhile, six players each of Chandigarh and Jharkhand besides a coach of Chandigarh after having tested positive has been shifted to covid care centre,” said an official.
Caption: 
11th Hockey India Junior Women National Championship 2021 postponed due to rise in covid-19 cases at Simdega Hockey stadium in Simdega. Picture by Manob Chowdhary