With local, national and international sporting events suspended or cancelled because of COVID-19 concerns, it was only a matter of time before it impacted the Japanese Hockey team.
The Japanese Men’s Hockey teams ‘Tour of Holland’ had to be cancelled because of the ongoing global pandemic.The tour was part of the team’s preparation for the Tokyo Olympic Games this summer.
The team was scheduled to travel to Holland and play against the Dutch Men’s Hockey team from March 24th – 26th. However, since the Dutch government called for a lock-down and announced tough measures to combat the spread of Covid-19, cancellation of the tour was only natural.
In Holland, all events including sports matches, conferences, theatre performances, church services are being cancelled.
As of March 17, the number of positive coronavirus tests in the Netherlands rose by 278 to 1,413 on Monday, according to the latest update from national health institute RIVM.
Four more patients have died, taking the death toll to 24. The average age of the victims was 79 and the youngest was 59, the RIVM said. In total 205 people have been or are still hospitalised.
According to the RIVM’s interactive map, the number of confirmed cases in Amsterdam has reached 39. In Utrecht there have been 48 cases so far, in Rotterdam 30 and in The Hague 14.
Speaking from Kakamigahara in Japan, where the team is currently centralized, Head Coach of the Japan Men’s Hockey team, Siegfried Aikman said the well-being of the players and staff, is a top priority and they are taking all necessary steps to ensure their safety.
He also said the Japanese Hockey management is following the guidelines of the Japanese national and regional governmental departments with regards to COVID-19.
“We were scheduled to play against the Dutch team from 24th to 26th March 2020. However, since the Dutch government called for cancellation of all sports events and matches, that was the end of it. The cancellation is understandable given the circumstances,” Siegfried said.
“Almost every country is closed at the moment which makes it hard for us to travel anywhere. Our last international match was in November 2019. For now, we will focus on training here at Kakamigahara,” added Siegfried.