Lausanne (Switzerland), March 29 : Their country under attack and occupied by Russia, the women's junior team of Ukraine will miss the upcoming FIH Hockey Women's Junior World Cup starting on April 1 at Potchefstroom, South Africa.

Ukraine were part of the 16-team competition that also included teams from Argentina, Austria, Canada, England, Germany, India, Ireland, South Korea, Malaysia, the Netherlands, South Africa, United States, Uruguay, Wales and Zimbabwe. The event will now be held with 15 teams as FIH has decided not to name a replacement team for the Junior Women's World Cup because of the paucity of time. The 16 teams were divided into four groups of four each but now Pool B will have only three teams -- England, Ireland and hosts South Africa. The matches of Ukraine, which could not travel to South Africa, will be cancelled.  Hockey Pro League: England Women's Team Postpones India Tour Due to Covid Cases.

"The Ukrainian Hockey Association has informed us today that their Women's Junior team will not be able to participate in the upcoming FIH Hockey Women's Junior World Cup eventually, despite its tireless efforts to try to make it possible," the FIH CEO Thierry Weil informed in a release on Tuesday. "This is of course a very sad situation, first and foremost for all members of the team, especially the players, and I would like, on behalf of FIH, to reassert our full solidarity with the Ukrainian hockey community at this terrible time," he added.

"I would also like to extend our sincerest thanks to the Hockey Associations of Poland and the Netherlands, as well as the Dutch club of HV Victoria, for their tremendous efforts in providing support to the team in the last couple of weeks. We wish a lot of strength to everyone within the Ukrainian hockey community. Our thoughts are with them. And we hope that peace will be restored as soon as possible," Thierry Weil stated. It is a big setback for hockey stakeholders in Ukraine and also for international efforts to show solidarity with the country which has been under attack since last month.

The FIH had on March 9 excluded Russia from the FIH Hockey Women's Junior World Cup after its executive board decided to suspend Russia from all competitions. Austria was named as replacement for Russia for the event and included in Pool C, joining Argentina, Korea and Uruguay.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Mar 30, 2022 11:21 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).