New Delhi: “You can call me former India hockey coach for now,” was Terry Walsh’s first reaction after a series of meetings with the sports ministry and the Sports Authority of India appointed committee that looked into his demands of “greater decision-making powers” over the last few days. Walsh had resigned last month citing “bureaucratic interference”.
The talks, which appeared to be headed in a positive direction till late on Monday, hit a roadblock after Hockey India (HI) chief Narinder Batra raised questions over Walsh’s financial trouble over a sports development programme with former employers Hockey USA and stall a fresh contract for the Australian.
In the end, the ministry and SAI backed the coach saying “they believed that Walsh was the right man to take Indian hockey forward”, but there was still no resolution.
The development is a definite set back for the national team, who produced decent results under Walsh. The Asiad gold was followed by a recent series win over Australia, and with the Champions Trophy just days away, it has left the players in shock.
Walsh heads back to Perth on Wednesday, leaving behind huge question marks on his return and many more on HI’s unprecedented move. It is learnt, that the SAI appointed committee had prepared a final draft which went through four stages of discussion and included many of Walsh’s demands and the government too backed it....