ANOTHER HECTIC day of meetings saw the Indian Hockey Federation having consultations with Olympians and coach Joaquim Carvalho to think ways of getting the national sport back on track.
IHF chief KPS Gill also met Technical Consultant Ric Charlesworth, FIH official Bob Davidzon and IWHF secretary Amrit Bose. But while both IHF officials — president KPS Gill and secretary K Jothikumaran — and Carvalho were tight-lipped about what transpired at the meeting, sources said several topics came up for discussion.
But the way the federation works was evident in the fact that, having announced earlier that the media would be briefed after the meeting, IHF protocol officer Suresh Sharma came out almost three hours after the scheduled time, only to inform there would be no interaction with the media, after all. "The meetings will continue tomorrow also and we will intimate the media when the briefing will be held," he said.
Charlesworth too refused to talk, but his brief statement gave enough indication that he was not too excited about being sidelined from the senior men's team and that the IHF was trying to work out a compromise formula. "We have moved forward. But we will have more meetings," Charlesworth said.
The fact that Charlesworth came to the meeting with FIH representative and Project Director of 'Promoting Indian Hockey' Bob Davidzon is seen as significant, given the FIH's keenness to have him involved with all levels of the game.
Carvalho, who along with team manager RK Shetty submitted his report on the Santiago debacle to the IHF, refused to say anything. "I have submitted my report and there is nothing to add," was his curt reply when asked what transpired at the meeting.
The Olympians' meeting was attended by, among others, Ajitpal Singh, Harmik Singh, Balbir Singh, B.P. Govinda, M.P. Ganesh, Charles Cornelius and Zafar Iqbal.
A source present at the meeting said the Olympians had a fair interaction with the IHF and discussed, among other things, Charlesworth's role and the possibility of forming a sub-committee, comprising former players and coaches who would work with him, to monitor and implement his suggestions.
"What is the point in having Charlesworth and not involving him in the affairs of the senior team? It is the senior team that takes part in important tournaments. A solution should be found out to involve him," one of the Olympians said.
Another Olympian said though Gill took note of suggestions, any final decision, including the fate of Carvalho, would only be decided after the IHF's executive committee meeting on Wednesday.