By Emily Goddard

Fiji has withdrawn from the Hockey World League ©Fiji Hockey FederationFiji has withdrawn from the Hockey World League due to a lack of funds, it has bee announced.

Having advanced in the tournament thanks to wins on home turf at the National Hockey Centre in Suva last month, the men's team was due to travel to Singapore for Round Two later this month, while the women would have gone to India for their games in March.

But financial restraints mean they will now abandon the International Hockey Federation (FIH) competition and instead focus their efforts on winning hockey gold at this year's Pacific Games in Papua New Guinea's capital Port Moresby in July.

"This is a critical decision Fiji Hockey made primary because of funding," said Robin Mitchell, President of the Fiji Hockey Federation.

"Before the competition last month, we were planning to send only one team but with time against us and with no commitments from sponsors, we have made the decision for the benefit of a minor sport like hockey.

"We want to announce that the men's and women's teams will not compete at the World League Round Two qualification."

Papua New Guinea has now been invited to replace Fiji at the World Hockey League.

This latest incident echoes that of the tournament two years ago when Fiji players had to fund their own travel to matches, shelling out about FJD3,000 (£980/$1,500/€1,250) each.

"This is not the first time we've made sacrifices," Fiji men's hockey head coach Hector Smith said.

"We came back from India [from the Hockey World League] and sacrificed going to New Zealand so our under 18 team can go to the Youth Olympics."

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