Terror threat: New Zealand hockey team reconsiders India tripBy IANS
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
WELLINGTON - New Zealand’s hockey team may delay its trip to the Hockey World Cup in New Delhi, following an Al Qaeda threat against sports events in India, an official said.
The team is in Australia’s Perth city to play two practice matches Wednesday and Friday, and will then decide if it will travel to India as per schedule for the World Cup that begins Feb 28, New Zealand Herald reported Wednesday.
Hockey New Zealand said while the Black Sticks plan to participate in the tournament, it had decided to keep the players in Perth until further notice.
Hockey NZ chief executive Hilary Poole said the safety of the players, coaches and team management was of significant importance and it made sense to further assess the situation before sending them to New Delhi.
“We have been monitoring this situation all along. But the events over the past 24 hours have led us to reassess the situation,” the paper quoted Poole as saying.
Global terror network Al Qaeda’s Pakistan arm has warned of attacks in India, particularly targeting upcoming international sports events like the Commonwealth Games, the Hockey World Cup and the IPL cricket tournament.
Asia Times Online said it had received a message from Illyas Kashmiri, who heads the 313 Brigade, an operational arm of the Al Qaeda in Pakistan. The message received Monday, two days after the Pune bombing which killed 11 people, warns international players against participating in the mega sports events in India.