Perth, Feb.17 (ANI): The New Zealand men's hockey team will stay in Perth for the time being rather than travel on to India following terror threats against sports events there.
The team's decision to park itself in the Western Australian capital follows a threat issued by Ilyas Kashmiri, commander of al-Qaeda's 313 Brigade,not to send international sportspersons for the hockey world cup, the third edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the Commonwealth Games, to be held in Delhi in October.
Hockey New Zealand said this afternoon that while the Black Sticks still planned to attend the hockey tournament in Delhi, which starts next week, it had decided to keep them in Perth until further notice.
The team is in Perth to play Australia in a two tests, tonight and on Friday.
The safety of the players, coaches and team management was of paramount importance and it made sense to further assess the situation before sending the team to Delhi, the New Zealand Herald quoted Hockey New Zealand CEO Hilary Poole, as saying.
Poole said: "We have been monitoring this situation all along. But the events over the past 24 hours have led us to reassess the situation."
Hockey New Zealand had been receiving security advice from the Government and hockey and cricket associations about the security situation in India, she added.
Foreign Minister Murray McCully's office was saying little about the threats today, other than to say the situation was being monitored closely and officials were liaising with representatives of the various sports bodies potentially affected by the threats. (ANI)