Field Hockey Canada is announcing that we have taken the difficult decision that our men’s national team, the ‘Red Caribou’ will not compete in the upcoming third edition of the FIH Pro League.
This decision has been taken after consideration of the latest Omicron variant which is renewing health and travel concerns during this pandemic.
“The welfare of our athletes, staff, umpires and officials is at the centre of all that we do. Based on our risk assessment, and the latest health advice from our government, Field Hockey Canada is unable to commit to the Pro League at this time. Whilst we have consistently expressed our interest in joining the league, we postponed any formal commitment based on the uncertainty around athlete safety. This uncertainty continues to this day, and with the first round scheduled to begin in South Africa in less than one month, now is the time to make this decision. Our thanks go to the FIH and the League Management Panel for the opportunity.” said FHC CEO, Susan Ahrens.
Field Hockey Canada’s final assessment on Pro League participation was informed by the FIH’s decision of January 10 to cancel the FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup due to the current health situation. This was scheduled for February 2-6, in Belgium. The Pro League is scheduled to start just two days later in South Africa.
Field Hockey Canada’s High Performance Director, Adam Janssen, notes that “Since March 2020, our athletes and staff have faced huge challenges. Unlike the World Cup and Olympic qualifiers, the Pro League is not part of the podium pathway and with continued uncertainty around athlete welfare, we are forced to make this difficult decision.”
Field Hockey Canada remains committed to all international opportunities and will continue to work with stakeholders to manage event participation on a case-by-case basis.
Field Hockey Canada has this week also ruled out sending Master’s teams to the World Masters Hockey (WMH) Masters Indoor World Cup in the USA in February. The FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup South Africa, which was originally scheduled for December and has now been re-scheduled to April, will be evaluated before Field Hockey Canada makes any final commitment to compete in that event.
Field Hockey Canada will continue to work with both the FIH and PAHF to lead and advocate for those central to our sport: the athletes, coaches and officials. We will continue to review our position on international travel based on the advice of the Canadian government, sport partners and health authorities.