Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) postponed two upcoming meets namely Bangabandhu Al-Arafah Islami Bank Men’s Junior (Under-21) Asia Cup 2020 and Women’s Asian Champions Trophy 2020 due to COVID-19 outbreak worldwide.
Bangabandhu Men’s Junior Asia Cup, which is also the Asian qualifier for FIH Junior World Cup 2021, was scheduled to be held on June 4 to June 12 at Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium in the capital while Women’s Asian Champions was scheduled to be held June 14 to June 21 at Donghae in South Korea.About postponement of the events, AHF stated on their website, “With this communication, the AHF formally announces the postponement of Bangabandhu Al-Arafah Islami Bank Junior Asia Cup Dhaka 2020 and the Women’s Asian Champions Trophy Donghae 2020.”
“As you will be aware, the vast majority of sports events originally scheduled for the coming weeks and months have already been postponed, or are currently being postponed – even a never-before-seen postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games has been announced yesterday,” stated the press release.
“Given this situation and the escalating worldwide Coronavirus crisis, the AHF has carefully assessed all aspects of the impact on our events and come to the conclusion that the postponement of the Bangabandhu Al-Arafah Islami Bank Junior Asia Cup Dhaka 2020 & the Women’s Asian Champions Trophy Donghae 2020 is unavoidable to protect the safety and health of our athletes, officials and the broader hockey family and to enable a fair and successful event at a later date. We are as disappointed as you to see this having become necessary and are working closely with the tournament hosts to finalize new dates as soon as possible. We greatly appreciate your understanding and cooperation. Please stay healthy and safe,” concluded the statement.
BHF is scheduled to host two international meets to mark the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The other is Hero Men’s Asian Champions Trophy 2020, scheduled to be held on November 17 to November 27 this year.
Ahead of the events, Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) CEO and International Hockey Federation (FIH) Executive Member Dato Tayyab Ikram visited Bangladesh for the MoU-signing and Logo unveiling program on last month.
BHF acting General Secretary Mohammed Yousuf told daily sun, “We can’t arrange any event in this circumstance. So, we have agreed with AHF.”Meanwhile, BHF has shut down its office, training session and other activities at its premises until April 4 due to the coronavirus outbreak.