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Goodbye to Indian Hockey for Harendra Singh?

Goodbye to Indian Hockey for Harendra Singh?
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Published: 15 Jan 2019 6:45 AM GMT
While most of India's sporting world has remained preoccupied with the long, drawn-out saga taking shape around Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul and the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI), there's another sport in India that warrants attention- the sport of Hockey and the brewing trouble between the Federation and the erstwhile coach of the Men's hockey team. After a disappointing 2018 which saw India end the year with a sixth place finish at the FIH Men's Hockey world cup in Bhubaneshwar, Hockey India has since recommended that Coach Harendra Singh be reinstated to his former position as the coach of the Junior National Team whom he guided to a World Cup in 2016. The Federation said that the recommendation was being passed with a view to India's campaign at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. However, things have since turned ugly and now,
Mail Today
reports that Singh might say goodbye to Indian Hockey altogether. According to the report, Hockey India has reportedly written to SAI saying that Harendra Singh is "not interested" in Indian Hockey anymore and have requested that he be sent back to his parent corp, Air India. "When Harendra himself is not interested in pursuing the junior coach's job, there is no point in continuing with it," a source was quoted as saying by Mail Today. Apparently, the declaration came from the erstwhile Chief Coach himself at the end of a heated exchange in a group including Harendra Singh. "The experiment with an Indian coach has not worked and looking at the future, a foreign coach was considered the best option. India has to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics and also prepare for the Olympics proper. The Asian Games was a letdown and there is no way compromises can be made," a Hockey India official added to Mail Today. Meanwhile, the
Indian Express
has since reported that Harendra Singh was allegedly not allowed a free hand when it came to team selection for the Men's Hockey World Cup. According to a letter written to SAI, Singh said that it was on the insistence of the Federation that the old-timers had to be dropped to field a younger team in the year-ending tournament. The reasons for Singh's removal from the post of the Senior Men's team coach were touted as not having experience to coach a senior side. Harendra Singh has been associated with the Indian Hockey team since 2000 coaching various junior and senior sides in the national and international circuit. He was the assistant Indian coach at the 2000 Sydney Olympics to Vasudevan Baskaran Another potentially related development is that according to the official website of Hockey India, Indian Hockey veteran Sardar Singh is back in the team's Selection Committee after having recently retired last year.
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