Asian Champions Trophy could be postponed again

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Covid-19 is continuing to wreak havoc with the sporting calendar. The Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) will have a meeting before September 15 to decide on the fate of both the men’s and the women’s Asian Champions Trophies. With travel restrictions to take into equation, it’s likely that AHF may have no choice but to reschedule it. Both the events were originally slated for 2020. 

“We will be able to make a final decision by the 15th of September,” Tayyab Ikram, CEO of the AHF, said. “We will be discussing this in the coming one or two weeks. As you know , it’s a very challenging time with travel restrictions and so on.

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There is potential that we may have to reschedule our Champions Trophies. At this moment, we are discussing the options and will have to see if we can go ahead.” While the women’s Asian Champions Trophy is slated to be held in Donghae, South Korea, from October 24-31, the men’s event is slated to be held in Dhaka from October 1-9.

The AHF has also done away with the men’s junior Asia Cup — originally scheduled to be a qualifier for the junior men’s World Cup. “Both junior Asia Cups will not take place before JWC,” Ikram informed. India have directly qualified for the junior WC since they are hosts. The other teams from Asia are Pakistan, Malaysia and South Korea.

Women’s team to train from September 13 
The senior women’s team will be back training at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) campus in Bengaluru from the second week of September. It’s likely that new chief coach, Janneke Schopman, will be in situ to take the team’s first training session post the Olympics. The men aren’t expected to be back before October.  If, as expected, the Asian Champions Trophy is postponed, the next competitive fixture for the men’s side is a Pro League encounter in New Zealand in the first week of February.

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