The Indoor Hockey World Cup had been due to start in Belgium on February 2 ©Getty Images

Next month's postponed Indoor Hockey World Cup in Belgium has been cancelled because of COVID-19 concerns in the host country.

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) and Hockey Belgium decided to call off the tournament in Liège, which had been scheduled to run from February 2 to 6, due to the "current health situation in Belgium".

They said the decision was made "after extensive consultations with and recommendation from all official and competent authorities in the country".

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo warned last week "the coming weeks will be difficult", adding the Government anticipated seeing record levels of infections as a result of the Omicron variant.

Twelve men's and women's teams had been set to take part in the world's flagship indoor hockey event.

It had been pushed back from last year following a surge in COVID-19 cases in Belgium.

Australia and New Zealand had already withdrawn from the event after the two countries pulled out of major FIH competitions due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

"The FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup is the pinnacle of indoor hockey," said FIH chief executive Thierry Weil. 

"Therefore, considering all indoor hockey athletes and fans, it was extremely hard to cancel the 2022 edition planned in just a few weeks. 

"But, of course, we have followed the recommendations of the local authorities. 

"On behalf of the FIH, I would like to extend our sincerest thanks to the Belgian organisers, and in particular the Belgian Hockey Association, for their tremendous preparation works and their great dedication."

The FIH has also confirmed that the FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup in South Africa, which was initially scheduled to be played in December 2021 but had to be put on hold due to the Omicron variant outbreak, would go ahead in April.

The event is due to take place at the North-West University of Potchefstroom from April 2 to 13.