A day after India’s shocking defeat to Malaysia in the hockey semifinals at the Aoti Sports Complex, the entire support staff has reportedly sent in their resignations to Hockey India (HI) secretary-general, Narendra Batra.
While coach in-charge, Harendra Singh, had put in his papers immediately after the 3-4 defeat, four other officials have reportedly e-mailed their resignations to Batra.
Team trainer, Pradeep Datta, physio, Shrikant, goalkeeping coach, Clarence Lobo, and team doctor, SK Naik, have reportedly sent a joint resignation letter to Batra.
The situation is quite similar to the one after the 2006 Doha Asian Games where India could not make it to the semifinals for the first time in Games’ history.
When contacted, Batra told HT he had not received the resignation letters apart from Harendra’s.
“Let the team return from China and we will sit down and discuss matters.
“Therefore, I have not accepted Harendra’s resignation.”As for the others, I don’t have their letters which doesn’t matter as most of them finish their contracts after the Games in any case.”
India play defending champions South Korea for bronze, but after the en masse resignation of the coaching and support staff, the task of defeating the continental superpower will even become tougher.
An official, not wishing to be quoted because of the sensitivity of the issue, confirmed that Harendra had sent in his resignation to Batra on Tuesday, while the other four had forwarded their resignations on Wednesday.
He, however, said Batra had not accepted the resignations, as India still have a match to play.
“What will be the team’s morale if the entire support team leaves now,” he asked.
Immediately after the loss, Spanish coach, Jose Brasa, had said it was more or less certain that his contract would not be extended after the Games.