TO : Continental Federations National Associations WMH Members
CC : FIIH
FROM : WMH Executive Board
SUBJECT : WMH World Cup 2020 – Update
DATE : 18th March 2020
Like everyone else, the WMH Executive Board has been watching governmental and sporting bodies' reactions to Covid-19 (Coronavirus) and we are fully aware of the impact this is having around the world. There is a wide range of opinions on the steps being taken and the steps that should be taken next. We know that no matter what decision(s) are taken they will not be universally popular especially with the benefit of hindsight.
People involved in Masters Hockey appreciate the benefits of playing sport and taking exercise and really look forward to playing for their countries at the highest possible level. Whilst we are keen that such tournaments take place we do need to balance this with valid public health concerns.
We are aware of concerns National Associations and teams have over the upcoming World Cups with certain countries currently off limits and there is no knowing what will happen next and for how long such measures will be in place.
The Executive Board is of the opinion that with almost five months to go until the start of the first tournament we should hold fire on a decision, at this point, and that we should continue to review announcements, particularly those from the IOC, regarding other sporting events. We shall continue developing our own contingency plan and will keep everyone updated. We are liaising with the host National Associations as part of this contingency planning. We know this is probably not exactly what you want to hear, and that you are looking for a degree of certainty. The only way to guarantee certainty is to cancel the tournaments which would be a great shame especially if in three months’ time things returned to normal.
We appreciate that attending our events is expensive and players will naturally be wary about committing large sums of money only to find out there is no tournament. In relation to travel and hotel costs all we can recommend is that you make sure you have adequate insurance in place when you book. At the moment airlines and hotels are taking a very pragmatic view so hopefully travel costs and plans can be kept very flexible.
The event entry fees are levied to cover expenses incurred by the host in arranging the tournament. The hosts have already incurred expenditure and as it stands some of this will be lost if the tournament is postponed or cancelled. We are working with the hosts to see how we can keep the upfront costs to a minimum. In the event of postponement the fee will be carried forward to the new dates and in the event of cancellation we will do everything we can to recover as much as possible for the participating teams. In this case the balance retained will be distributed equally across all the teams. We appreciate that this is not ideal, but there is no other option available. We are doing everything we can to keep the tournaments on track and are hopeful that by the time of the first WMH World Cup in Nottingham in August, the Covid-19 situation will be well under control.
Hon Sec - WMH
on behalf of the WMH Executive Board