Kiwi hockey World Cup team gets all-clear on India terror threat

Posted By: Staff

Perth, Feb 22(ANI): New Zealand Hockey Federation (NZHF) has said that its national team, which had been on stand-by for the World Cup in India, will participate in the tournament and depart on Tuesday.

The Black Sticks will fly from Perth, where they have been playing Australia, to New Delhi for the tournament starting on Sunday.

New Zealand's participation in the tournament had been under review following threats from an Al-Qaeda militant last week.

NZHF chief executive Hilary Poole said that the federation had sought advice from the New Zealand Government and held comprehensive meetings with the Indian authorities before taking their decision.

"The detail we have received has reassured us that the required level of security is in place, therefore we have kept the team in the tournament," quoted Poole, as saying.

"We have been working diligently with the Black Sticks Team over the past few days to give each player enough information to make their own informed decision. The security of our players has been paramount in our decision making," he added.

Poole further said that the board has employed two extra security guards in addition to the comprehensive local network the team will have around them in Delhi.

Despite the go-ahead, rising star Simon Child has decided to fly back to New Zealand, saying that the heightened security did not create an ideal high performance environment.

NZHF said they fully respected Childs' decision, and a replacement in the squad was being considered.

New Zealand is grouped with Holland, South Korea, Argentina and Germany at the World Cup. (ANI)

Story first published: Monday, February 22, 2010, 12:20 [IST]
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