Hockey teams hit by travel restrictions

Melissa WoodsAAP
The Kookaburras are one of many Australian hockey teams withdrawn from international competitions.
Camera IconThe Kookaburras are one of many Australian hockey teams withdrawn from international competitions. Credit: AAP

Strict international travel restrictions have forced Hockey Australia (HA) to withdraw Australian teams from a number of upcoming tournaments.

The Kookaburras and Hockeyroos are out of next month's FIH Pro League with participating countries and the FIH Pro League Council saying it was "untenable" to travel to Australia and also New Zealand due to COVID-related government travel restrictions.

"Based on risk assessment and current Australian government health advice, Hockey Australia is not considering overseas hockey-related trips at this time," said HA 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."

HA has also withdrawn teams from the men's and women's junior world cup tournaments later this year, the indoor world cup next February and the Masters event also in February.

They plan to send the Hockeyroos to the senior women's world cup in Spain and the Netherlands in July 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 8 August 8 2022.

Johnston was hopeful of organising trans-Tasman matches for the affected senior teams.

"We have been working with Hockey New Zealand and there is strong intent from both parties to provide trans-Tasman competition opportunities where both nations have withdrawn from international events.

"This will of course be subject to an open travel bubble."

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