COVID hits women’s ACT: Indian hockey player tests positive, Korea game canceled

A member of the Indian women’s hockey team competing in the Asian Champions Trophy here has tested positive for COVID-19, resulting in her match against the hosts and defending Korean champions being canceled on Wednesday. Although the Asian Hockey Federation has yet to release a statement, a source from Hockey India has confirmed that a player has tested positive. The AHF statement is also expected to clarify the situation on India’s participation in the rest of the tournament.

“Yes, a player has tested positive, so today’s game against Korea has been called off. The AHF will make a further statement about it,” the source told PTI.

The pandemic had cast a shadow over the tournament itself on Tuesday when India’s second game against Malaysia was called off due to COVID-related concerns.

Malaysia was forced to be absent for at least the first two days of competition after one of its players, Nurul Faezah Shafiqah Khalim, tested positive for COVID-19 upon arriving in South Korea.

According to sources, just like Malaysia, the Indian contingent should be quarantined after the positive result.

Finalist of the last edition, India had already beaten a modest Thailand 13-0 with the drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur scoring five goals.

India is the highest ranked participating team as it occupies ninth place in the women’s ranking of the International Hockey Federation.

The Asian Women’s Champions Trophy was originally scheduled for 2020 but has been postponed several times due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Catherine J. Martinez