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Two golds? Two silvers? How COVID-19 may make hockey occasion at Tokyo 2020 an uncommon affair-Sports activities Information , Firstpost

Two golds in hockey at Tokyo 2020? Two silvers? Firstpost Explains how COVID-19 may make the hockey event at Tokyo Olympics an uncommon affair

Firstpost Explains: Two golds? Two silvers? How COVID-19 could make hockey event at Tokyo 2020 an unusual affair

File picture of Indian hockey group gamers celebrating a aim

There might be two gold medallists or two silver medallists in hockey on the Tokyo Olympics, as per to the Sports activities Particular Rules agreed upon by hockey’s worldwide governing physique, FIH, and the Worldwide Olympic Committee (IOC).

Thierry Weil, CEO of FIH, confirmed this in a digital press convention with Indian journalists on Friday, one week earlier than the deferred Tokyo Olympics are to begin beneath a cloud of coronavirus .

FIH’s Sports activities Particular Rules (SSR) for coronavirus acknowledged that if a group has to withdraw from the Olympics within the knockout phases because of too many COVID-19 circumstances within the group, the group which they beat within the earlier knockout spherical will progress as a substitute of them, offered they’re nonetheless round in Tokyo (Tokyo 2020 organisers have laid a rule stating that athletes should go away the Video games Village in two days after their participation within the Video games is over). This transfer basically gives a second probability to an eradicated group ought to their vanquishers have to drag out because of an outbreak amongst their squad.

Larger squads in Tokyo

Ordinarily, a group is allowed to call 16-member squads for the Olympics, however given the coronavirus state of affairs, the IOC agreed to permit two extra gamers to be added to the squad as reserves. (Every nationwide group has additionally been given the chance to fly three extra gamers as alternates to Tokyo, however they are going to be based mostly exterior the Athletes Village in a bubble of their very own).

Contemplating the gamers at every group’s disposal with the unique 16-member squad plus the reserves and alternates, the FIH is hopeful {that a} state of affairs won’t come up at Tokyo the place a group has to withdraw utterly because of an outbreak of circumstances.

It have to be famous that the FIH or IOC has at the moment stored no cap on the minimal variety of gamers a group might want to have obtainable to play matches.

“The choice on withdrawing is on the group’s discretion. Even when a group has six gamers who’ve contracted COVID-19 , they might nonetheless play,” stated FIH CEO Thierry Weil. “If a group has simply 11 gamers obtainable, they will nonetheless play. Even when a group is taking part in with 10-men, which is unlikely, we go away their withdrawal to the discretion of their group.”

He identified that FIH’s personal rules had a rule about minimal gamers required to compete, however IOC selected to take away that rule for Tokyo 2020.

What-ifs

With the Olympics being held precariously in the midst of a pandemic, although, each what-if assumes gravitas, irrespective of how hypothetical or far-fetched. Not simply optimistic COVID-19 circumstances, being an in depth contact of somebody who has contracted the virus may additionally put a participant in isolation, thereby forcing them to skip a match and go away the group short-handed.

That is why as per hockey’s SSR, ought to a group make it to the ultimate and must withdraw because of COVID-19 circumstances within the squad, the group they beat within the semi-finals will get a possibility to compete within the last. The shedding finalist and the group that needed to withdraw because of COVID-19 circumstances will each be awarded silver medals.

In a state of affairs the place each groups which make it to the ultimate must withdraw because of COVID-19 , each groups can be awarded gold medals.

Equally, if each shedding semi-finalists have to drag out earlier than the bronze medal playoff, each groups can be given bronze medals.

There may be additionally a state of affairs the place there can be a gold medallist and a bronze medallist, however no group can be given silver. This can occur if two groups withdraw earlier than going through one another within the semi-final. On this state of affairs, the winner of the opposite semi-final would be the gold medallist, whereas the shedding group would be the bronze medallist.

‘Extraordinarily sophisticated’

“All these components are extraordinarily sophisticated,” stated FIH’s Weil. “I actually imagine these conditions won’t happen through the Video games. It’s unlikely. We are able to discuss whether or not that is honest or not within the sporting perspective. However given the COVID-19 state of affairs, I actually imagine that is one of the best choice which has been taken.”

He defined that whereas all of the query marks about hockey’s SSR have been being raised over the semis and the finals, that they had made the principles additionally retaining in thoughts earlier phases.

He went on so as to add that the choice had additionally been made in session with the athletes’ committee. “As an athlete you don’t need to be awarded medals as a result of others couldn’t proceed competing. The choice was made as a result of in case you resolve to conduct the Video games, you need competitors. I imagine any group would like to play towards an opponent and win a gold medal moderately than get it as a result of the opposite group couldn’t play. It’s not preferrred, however given the state of affairs it’s an answer which is, for my part, the one which may have been taken.”

The rationale behind giving the shedding semi-finalist a second probability by selling them to the ultimate has raised eyebrows.

One of many theories floating round for this choice is in order that the hockey program shouldn’t be denied the summit conflict, which is prone to get probably the most eyeballs and highest scores on tv in these Olympics, the place followers are banned from attending in individual.

Weil vehemently denied this idea.

“That is utterly flawed. I can assure you that this choice was not made on the premise that to get the cash from IOC we’ve got to do that.”

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