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Crowd ban puts Pegs' Euro trip in doubt

 

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Up to 20,000 would have been expected to attend the four-day hockey competition, leaving the continental governing body with a dilemma (stock photo)

Up to 20,000 would have been expected to attend the four-day hockey competition, leaving the continental governing body with a dilemma (stock photo)

©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Up to 20,000 would have been expected to attend the four-day hockey competition, leaving the continental governing body with a dilemma (stock photo)

Pegasus might have to wait until next year to play in Europe due to restrictions on sporting events imposed by the Dutch government because of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The European Hockey League was originally scheduled to take place in Amsterdam at Easter but was put on hold.

There were tentative plans to rearrange the top-flight continental tournament for October but that has now been cast into doubt.

The Dutch government has banned spectators from all sporting events until a vaccine can be found to combat the virus and that is unlikely to happen for another year at least.

Up to 20,000 would have been expected to attend the four-day hockey competition, leaving the continental governing body with a dilemma.

The EHL - due to be contested by men's and women's teams at the same venue for the first time - is a huge money spinner for the European Hockey Federation with upwards of £1m expected to enter the coffers had spectators not been banned.

Playing behind closed doors was dismissed "for logistical reasons" according to EHF when the original event was postponed at Easter and it now seems unlikely it will proceed in October.

However, Pegasus are in the enviable position of at least being able to compete in the 2021 version of the EHL having been nominated by Hockey Ireland after the national league season was declared null and void.

Belfast Telegraph