The Sports Authority of India (SAI) has given clearance for the national hockey camps to start as per schedule on August 19, even though six of the players from the men’s squad are affected by Covid-19. The players hit by the virus are currently admitted to a multispecialty hospital in Bengaluru.
Even though the players of both the men’s and women’s team had already assembled at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre in Bengaluru on time, the spike in the number of Covid-19 cases in the city has made it impossible for the camps to begin. Furthermore, a couple of days ago, six men’s players including skipper Mandeep Singh tested positive for the deadly virus and are now admitted to a multispecialty hospital in the city. Despite the recent developments, the game’s stakeholders, including Hockey India and coaches of both the teams, unanimously decided to start the camp on August 19, as proposed.
"The Indian men’s and Indian women’s hockey teams are scheduled to resume sports activities from, Wednesday 19th August 2020, following the completion of their 14-day quarantine period,” read a statement from SAI.
“After giving the utmost priority to the safety and well-being of all the athletes, it has been decided that the sporting activities will be resumed at SAI’s National Centre of Excellence in Bengaluru, as scheduled earlier,” added the statement.
As per the men’s team head coach Graham Reid, the six hospitalized players – Mandeep Singh, Surender Kumar, Jaskaran Singh, Varun Kumar and goalkeeper Krishan Bahadur Pathak would be inducted into the camp as soon as they recover.