Players crushed after team pull out of Asian Champs Trophy

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian hockey team have pulled out of the 2021 Asian Champions Trophy scheduled for Dec 14-22 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) said the decision was made yesterday after consultations with the National Sports Council (NSC) and the Malaysian authorities responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic.

Team coach A. Arulselvaraj said the players were shocked after receiving the news that they would not go to Dhaka for the tournament.

“The decision was made yesterday. We were supposed to fly on Sunday night. It is disappointing for the players and coaches because we have been preparing for this tournament. The momentum was good, everyone was eager. Now they are shattered,” said Arul.

“The Asian Champions Trophy was the best platform for us to chart our progress. We invested a lot of time to prepare for the tournament.

“We also went to the United Kingdom to prepare for it.

“We understand MHC made the decision based on the current pandemic situation. We will now have to move on and think about the Asia Cup next year.”

MHC said based on the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued by the Health Ministry, the team will have to undergo quarantine from Dec 8-14 if they want to leave for the Dhaka tournament scheduled for Dec 14 to 22.

The decision was taken because one of the players in the team was Covid-19 positive and now the entire team have to undergo mandatory quarantine.

Recently, the national women’s team had to pull out of the women’s edition of the Asian Champions Trophy after three players tested positive for Covid-19.

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