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Former hockey coach accuses Indian captain of favouritism; team hits back

Sjoerd Marijne has accused the Indian hockey captain Manpreet Singh of favouritism in the national team.

Coach Sjoerd Marijne Hockey

Ex-Coach Sjoerd Marijne


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 17 Sep 2022 12:06 PM GMT

The former coach of the Indian men's and women's national hockey team, Sjoerd Marijne, has accused the Indian captain Manpreet Singh of favouritism in the national team.

In his soon-to-be-released book, Marijne reveals that Manpreet Singh had asked an youngster to not play well so that his friend could get into the national team.

The book relates that Marijne had picked a teenager in the Indian men's team for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast. The player, however, failed to live up to the expectations during the tournament, leaving the coach mystified.

"A few weeks later, in one of the meetings after the Games, I learnt from David John, the high-performance director, that this player had claimed that Manpreet told him to stop playing so well because his friends were not able to get into the team. I don't know if Manpreet had said so as a joke, but it made me so furious," Marijne has written in his book.

Marijne, in his book, also claims that the former Hockey India President Narinder Batra did not recognise any Indian women player apart from captain Rani Rampal in 2019.

Now, both the Indian men's and women's team have strongly denied these allegations made by the Dutchman.

"We have seen in the press today some disturbing allegations being made by the erstwhile Chief Coach of our teams, Mr. Sjoerd Marijne. We have come together to state our deep disappointment in his exploitation of our personal information and false accusations. He has used his time of coaching us for commercial gain to sell his book at the cost of our reputations," the team said in a statement.

The statement also added that Hockey India will pursue legal actions against Sjoerd Marijne and the publishers of his book Will Power.

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