Coronavirus fallout: Hockeyroos’ China games ditched

The Hockeyroos have become the latest team forced to alter their schedule because of coronavirus.

Australia’s women’s hockey team, who this year will seek to win their first Olympic medal since 2000, were slated to travel to Changzhou and face China in Pro League matches on March 14 and 15.

Those games have been scrapped. The International Hockey Federation is looking to find new dates and another venue.

‘‘This is the right thing to do under the circumstances and Hockey Australia fully supports the FIH’s stance,’’ said Hockey Australia chief executive Matt Favier said.

The change comes after this weekend’s games between Belgium and China in Changzhou were also postponed.

‘‘Hockey Australia’s No.1 priority is always the health, well-being and safety of our athletes and staff,’’ Hockey Australia high-performance director Toni Cumpston said.

‘‘We raised our concerns with FIH and initiated discussions as soon as the threat of the coronavirus was first publicised.

‘‘We are happy that FIH have made this decision and we look forward to working with them and the Chinese Hockey Association to organise another suitable time to play the matches.’’

The Pro League, a home-and-away competition involving the world’s best teams, is a key part of the Hockeyroos’ preparation for Tokyo 2020.

Australia lost to the Netherlands in last year’s Pro League final in a penalty shootout.

The Hockeyroos’ 2020 Pro League campaign continues on March 6 against Argentina in Perth.

AAP

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