Coronavirus threat forces Indian hockey coach to cancel trip back home

The head coach of the Indian women’s hockey team was scheduled to visit the Netherlands for a week before returning for the national camp.

Sjoerd Marijne was supposed to travel to the Netherlands on Friday night.   -  Biswaranjan Rout (File)

Sjoerd Marijne, the head coach of the Indian women’s hockey team, was forced to put off his plans to visit the Netherlands, his home country, due to travel restrictions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Marijne was supposed to travel to the Netherlands on Friday night for a week during a brief break of the national camp of the women’s hockey team but the 45-year-old Dutchman had to cancel his plans because of the coronavirus outbreak. The campers are scheduled to assemble for the camp again at the SAI, South Centre, in Bengaluru on March 22.

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“I was supposed to visit my family in the Netherlands during this break but I had to put of my plans because of the coronavirus outbreak. I don’t want to risk myself and my family during this troubled times,” Marijne told PTI from Bengaluru.

Risk too great

Marijne had earlier tweeted about his travel plans, saying he was forced to cancel his family visit because of the risk associated right now. “Had to turn around on my way to the airport to go to my family. The risk is too great that I can’t return to India. Hard times for everyone and for me now that I can’t see my family and I don’t know when this is going to happen,” he tweeted.

 

The coronavirus has wreaked havoc on sporting activities across the world. In India, the three-match ODI series between India and South Africa was postponed indefinitely and the Indian Premier League was deferred until April 15 because of the growing number of cases in the country.

The IPL was scheduled to begin on March 29.

India has so far recorded more than 80 positive cases with the global infected count over 1,30,000.

The death toll has crossed 5,000 internationally.

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