Round 3 over, no solution in sight
FOR AN organization where regular meetings are more of an exception than a rule, the past three days have seen more people visiting 11, Talkatora Road — the residence of Indian Hockey Federation president KPS Gill — than perhaps throughout the rest of his tenure so far.
His meetings with IHF office bearers and executive committee members continued on Wednesday, and like the previous two days, remained inconclusive. "Gill wants to seek the views of every member. He even wants to know what the media thinks about the whole issue," a source at the meeting said.
The discussions, ranging from the continuation of Joaquim Carvalho as chief coach of the senior team and the role of Ric Charlesworth in Indian hockey to the development of the game in the country, are expected to continue on Thursday as well, and any announcement would not be made before Friday, sources said.
While everyone seems to be making extra efforts to indicate all is going well, the fact that Gill met Charlesworth for the third successive day, with no decision yet, seems to suggest that the discussion has hit a roadblock on certain issues. The most glaring of these is the IHF's insistence on keeping the Australian away from the senior men's team and the latter's refusal to be associated with only developmental sides.
However, sources said that, despite a strong lobby insisting on the removal of Carvalho after the Olympic qualifiers debacle, Gill was hesitant to sack him right now. "India travel to Australia next month and Gill feels that it would not be right to remove the coach at the moment. His future may come up for discussion after the tournament," sources said.
For a federation that has a history of brazenly sacking coaches — whether it was Cedric D'Souza in the middle of the 1994 World Cup or Rajinder Singh barely a fortnight before the 2004 Olympics — Gill's persistence with Carvalho is surprising, given that the team for Chile was entirely the coach's selection.
Gill also met IWHF secretary Amrit Bose and Charlesworth for another round of discussions but neither was willing to say anything. "We have made progress and are still discussing things," was all Bose had to say.