The Sports Authority of India (SAI) has temporarily stopped hockey activities for a week at the National Stadium here from Thursday due to a surge in new cases of coronavirus in the Capital, confirmed a SAI coach.

There are 30-35 hockey players enrolled under SAI’s come-and-play scheme, said an official of the SAI.

“The activities have been stopped for a week but if Covid-19 cases continue to spiral, practice could be stopped for another week,” a SAI official told IANS.

The Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium is also home to the National Centre of Excellence (NCOE) in hockey for both men and women.

“There are 40 players, including 20 in the women’s category. But last week, seven players of the NCOE tested positive for Covid-19 and the NCOE was shut,” added the SAI official.

SAI has also stopped training in Bhopal’s NCOE as more than 30 athletes and officials tested positive for Covid-19.

“SAI is making an effort to contain the spread of virus. Therefore, the athletes who tested positive in Bhopal have been shifted to hospital as a precautionary measure. None of the athletes are critical. In view of the growing Covid-19 cases, SAI has also issued a circular to all NCOEs to follow the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) more strictly,” SAI said in a statement.

—IANS

nns/kh