Melbourne [Australia], September 17 (ANI): The Kookaburras (Australian men's hockey team) and Hockeyroos (Australian women's hockey team) will not compete in the next edition of the FIH Pro League, with Hockey Australia (HA) also confirming non-attendance at various other FIH (International Hockey Federation) events over the coming months on Friday.
Australia and New Zealand will not take part in season 3 of the FIH Pro League (scheduled to start in October 2021) as a result of COVID related government travel restrictions and uncertainty in both nations.
According to Hockey Austalia, all participating countries and the FIH Pro League Council agreed it was untenable for international teams to travel to Australia and New Zealand, as well as for Australian and New Zealand teams to play overseas and return without having to quarantine.
"Based on risk assessment and current Australian government health advice, Hockey Australia is not considering overseas hockey-related trips at this time," said Hockey Austalia acting CEO, Michael Johnston.
"The decision on our absence from the FIH Pro League was a collective one agreed on by all nations based primarily on other countries' difficulty or inability to travel into Australia and New Zealand.
"In Australia it is apparent the easing of international travel restrictions is still a way off and none of the competing countries wanted to enter the next Pro League season without a level of assuredness," Johnston added.
Hockey Australia said it remains committed to the Hockeyroos competing at the FIH women's hockey World Cup in Spain and the Netherlands from July 1-17 next year.
The Kookaburras and Hockeyroos will also be part of the Australian Commonwealth Games team that will head to Birmingham in England between July 28 and August 8 2022.
With COVID causing ongoing challenges and risks with international travel and subsequent quarantine, Hockey Australia has also withdrawn teams from the following tournaments:
- FIH Hockey Men's Junior World Cup India 2021 (November/December)
- FIH Hockey Women's Junior World Cup South Africa 2021 (December)
- FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup Belgium 2022 (February) (ANI)