Chief hockey coach Joaquim Carvalho has decided to step down along with his support staff following India's failure to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympics for the first time in 80 years.
Talking to PTI here soon after India's 3-2 loss to Great Britain in the final of the Qualifying Tournament last night, Carvalho said his failure to "deliver result" prompted him to resign.
"When I took over 11 months ago, I had said I would resign if I cannot deliver results. So, now, I am keeping my word. Yes, I am as disappointed and hurt as any other Indian hockey fan. Having said that, failure to qualify for the Olympics is not the end of the road for Indian hockey. We now have to start from scratch and renew our attempt to become one of the top teams in the World," he said.
Carvalho said he was still to speak to Indian Hockey Federation president KPS Gill about his resignation, but asserted that his decision was final.
When asked whether he would re-consider his decision if asked by the IHF, Carvalho said: "I don't know. I will have to give everything a lot of thought. There are a few issues too that the IHF will first have to straighten out.
"In any case, for the moment, I am firm in my decision to step down along with assistant coaches Mohinder Pal Singh and Ramesh Parameswaran."
The coach opined that there was still a lot of potential in the current team and that there was no need to press the panic button.
"We must retain the core team and perhaps even induct a few junior players. Some of the seniors in the team might have to think hard about their future in international hockey," he said.