PH MEN’S HOCKEY TEAM OPTS TO PULL OUT FROM THE UPCOMING ICE HOCKEY WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
The national men’s hockey team withdrew from the Ice Hockey World Championship Division IV due to lack of training.
Hockey Philippines released last December 8 an official statement and letter to the members of the Federation of Ice Hockey League Inc. stating that the Philippines would not be able to participate in the upcoming stint on March 3-9, 2022 at Kyrgyzstan.
The team said that the men’s division was unable to train in the past 18 months due to COVID-19 protocols of the government.
“Since the imposition by the Philippine government of lockdowns throughout the country last 16 March 2020, non-essential businesses, including ice-skating rinks, have been closed by the government,” said the federation in a statement.
“To date, despite recently allowing the resumption of contact sports under limited conditions, the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has yet to allow the reopening of ice-skating rinks.”
Even though entertainment and other sports establishments such as “internet cafes, billiard halls, amusement arcades, bowling alleys, skating rinks, archery halls, swimming pools, and similar venues” have been allowed to operate, there is still no initiative from the government in re-opening and prioritizing ice skating rinks.
Still, the national team recognized the challenges of international travel as another factor in their decision.
“Further, the uncertainty brought about by the present challenges of international travel, particularly the constant revisions of travel protocols worldwide, is another important factor we considered in coming up with this difficult decision” it added.
The team who won a bronze medal in the 2019 SEA Games said that even though it is hard to let go of such competition, they are still looking forward to participating in future competitions.
“While this decision to forego the country’s maiden participation in the World Hockey Championships pains us, the Federation deems this decision the most sound given the current set of circumstances. Nonetheless, the Federation remains hopeful that we will see a Philippine contingent competing at the World Hockey Championships in the near future.”