Having taken part in major competitions in India regularly for the past two years, you’d expect international players to have acclimatised to the culture by now. More so, considering that for the next four years, India will be hosting one major international tournament every year.
However, that’s not the case. At least with the Dutch. The world No.2 side has come to India equipped with 80 tubes of disinfectant gel — ‘used in hospitals for surgeries’ — and have placed ban on eating several fruits, drinking cappuccino, swimming and using tap water for brushing teeth in an extensive list of do’s and don’ts handed to players before they left for Bhubaneswar.
Weeks before the Champions Trophy began, the players were told the Dutch team management had imposed a ban on carrying swimsuits to ensure no player took a dip in ‘unhygienic’ swimming pool.
Robbert Kemperman, who was part of the silver-medal winning Holland squad at the London Olympics, tweeted a picture of him sitting by the poolside of the hotel with the caption: “Only with the feet.”
It was decided by Dutch coach and team doctor the players should not swim during the tournament fearing they may fall sick. Chief coach Max Caldas indicated the swimming ban was part of the hygiene protocol imposed by hockey administrators back home.
“One of the worries is that the pool may contain stagnant water and might not have been cleaned regularly. There is a fear of it containing bacteria,” Caldas, an Argentine, said. “I understand it is the best way for players to relax but there is a greater chance of falling sick. Some players from other teams, who have used the pool, have fallen ill. So, we have asked them not to carry their swimsuits.”
Their apprehensions do not end here. The players had undergone vaccination programmes before touching down in India to protect themselves from germs and diseases. “We are in a malaria area. We have also carried tablets for prevention,” reads the instruction manual.
However, there are no such worries for other teams. The Australian, Argentine and Belgian players have no such bans imposed on them.
DO’S AND DONT’S
Players have undergone vaccinations.
They have come equipped with 80 tubes of disinfectant gel used in surgery.
They have been told not to use tap water for drinking and brushing teeth.
Fruits like bananas and kiwis are fine as they are in a husk. pineapples and melons are banned.
Coffee, tea allowed, but not cappuccino.
Swimming in the hotel pool is banned.
They have been advised to wear trousers to protect themselves from mosquitoes.