THE DRAMA surrounding the appointment of Ric Charlesworth as technical consultant to the Indian Hockey Federation finally appears to be moving towards a conclusion.
After three days of hectic meetings with all sections associated with the sport, IHF president K.P.S. Gill on Thursday met Sports Ministry officials to finalise the details of the Australian’s one-year contract with the federation.
While there was no official confirmation from the IHF on the issue, sources said the main hurdle to Charlesworth’s appointment — his association with the senior men’s team — has been cleared.
“He will be there with Indian hockey, in all aspects and with all teams,” a federation source said.
“Omnipresent, if you want to call it - he will be associated with the IHF as technical consultant, and will provide inputs and suggestions to Indian teams at all levels,” the source added.
The decision is a climb down for the IHF, which had been insistent on not having Charlesworth with the senior team, with chief coach Joaquim Carvalho also not too keen on using the Australian’s services. For now, the decision means the IHF and Carvalho have to find a middle ground to work with Charlesworth.
However, it seems that the FIH’s insistence — responsible for bringing Charlesworth in — has finally had its effect. “One hurdle is crossed, the details of what goes into the contract have been worked out. The rest of the stuff will also be worked out in the next few days,” the source said.
It has also been learnt that while FIH’s project director for ‘Promotion of Indian Hockey’ Bob Davidzon — here to ensure that Charlesworth’s appointment went without a hitch — will leave on Friday, Charlesworth himself will go to Lucknow to take stock of the ongoing women’s preparation camp for the Olympic qualifiers next month.
Meanwhile, as reported earlier, the IHF has also agreed to the suggestion of forming a sub-committee, comprising Olympians, former players and coaches, to monitor and ensure the development of hockey in the country. The committee will also ensure implementation of Charlesworth’s suggestions to get the national game back on track.