Indian Hockey Teams To Participate In Commonwealth Games In Birmingham

Commonwealth Games Federation president Lewis Martin says India’s hockey teams have reversed their decision to skip the Games in 2022.

India’s hockey teams will take part in next year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) president Lewis Martin said, reversing his decision to skip the 2022 event. 

In October, India withdrew its hockey teams from next year’s Games citing COVID-19 concerns and Hockey India’s decision to prioritize the Asian Games in China, a qualifier for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

The Hockey India president cited the proximity of the dates of the Commonwealth Games to the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China as the reason for the teams to withdraw from Birmingham 2022.

Considering the quarantine requirements of the Commonwealth Games 2022, which ends on August 8 and the Asian Games starting September 10, hockey teams will not have enough time to prepare for the event. Thus, HI decided to withdraw teams from Birmingham and instead focus on the Asian Games in Hangzhou as a qualifying event for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. 

But, now, Dame Louise Martin, President of the Commonwealth Games Federation has confirmed that Indian hockey teams will participate in the Games in Birmingham.

Martin said that the Indian teams will take part in the tournament if they qualify, the decision came after talks with Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President Narinder Batra.

“India’s hockey men and women, if they are invited and qualify, they will be here. I am happy,” Martin told Olympic news website Inside the Games.

“India is the largest country in the Commonwealth. We need all their teams in every sport for which they qualify for these games.”

The IOA and Hockey India could not be immediately reached for comment.

The Commonwealth Games are to be held from 28 July to 8 August.