The Sports Authority of India (SAI) on Tuesday said it has accepted Australian David John's resignation as the High Performance Director of Hockey India.
John resigned from his post on August 18 with immediate effect, citing health safety concerns due to the rising COVID-19 cases in India. "He resigned citing concern for his personal health in the current COVID-19 situation in India, and has expressed his desire to go back to Australia," the SAI said.
However, according to sources, John resigned, within days of his contract being renewed by SAI, because of differences with the national federation's top brass. Recently, John's contract was renewed by the SAI till September 2021 but the Australian preferred to resign and had complained about being sidelined by Hockey India for a long time.
"David was feeling frustrated for a long time after Hockey India had apparently sidelined him. He was being ignored from being a part of important team decisions by Hockey India top brass," a source close to the development had told PTI. "David was no more involved in team decisions and was only occupied with taking online classes for coaches and players, a thing which didn't go down well with him. The five-month break because of the COVID-19 pandemic was the trigger for his decision," he added.
John was drawing a monthly salary of USD 12,000 in his current position and had been working from home in New Delhi since the start of the coronavirus lockdown in mid-March. He was associated with Indian hockey since 2011, appointed at first as the men's team physio under chief coach Michael Nobbs. Largely credited for improving the Indian teams' fitness levels, John left his job in 2012 after the London Olympics before returning in a larger position as High Performance Director in 2016.