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‘Humiliated’ Harendra Singh alleges bias by Hockey India over remuneration

Harendra, who was given marching orders after India could not cross the quarter-final hurdle at the 2018 World Cup in Bhubaneswar, accused the Hockey India of bias.

other sports Updated: Mar 26, 2019 11:22 IST
Harendra Singh,Hockey India,Indian hockey team
A file photo of Harendra Singh (R) takes part in a press conference at Kalinga Stadium.(AFP)

A day before Hockey India (HI) decides on the appointment of a new tactician for the senior men’s team, former India coach Harendra Singh on Monday alleged receiving a raw deal in terms of remuneration vis-à-vis the foreign coaching staff, which worked under him.

Harendra, who was given marching orders after India could not cross the quarter-final hurdle at the 2018 World Cup in Bhubaneswar, accused the HI of bias. “I felt humiliated. The people who worked under me were getting three times my salary. My anguish over this disparity went unheard, even though I kept reminding the people concerned to do something about it,” he alleged.

“Still, when they demoted me and asked me to take charge of the junior men’s team, I didn’t say ‘no’. If they consider my terms and conditions, I will accept the new job,” added Harendra, who said he had joined his employers Air India in the absence of clarity from the HI.

Harendra, who was the chief coach of the Indian men’s team that won bronze at the Jakarta 2018 Asian Games, said he was forced to quit without a hearing. “In a democratic setup, one needs to listen to both sides. But the people authorised by Hockey India to analyse the performance never heard my side of the story. I should also have been made a part of the process as per the existing policy,” he said.

“Finally, I wrote to the HI bosses and I don’t think those details need to be discussed in the open.”

Harendra opined the HI setup would only appoint a senior men’s team coach who will massage their ego. “They only need yes men. Even the selection panel is full of such people,” accused the former India player.

‘Not removed’

Syed Ali, a member of the Hockey India High Performance and Development Committee, which removed Harendra in January, said: “He (Harendra) wasn’t removed. His stint with the team for three tournaments ended after the World Cup and his exit was obvious then.”

It is learnt that apart from Australia’s Graham Reid and a few others along with three Indians have applied for the men’s team’s job. Former players Pramod Batla, Ramesh Parmeswaran and Sandeep Sangwan are in contention for the top post, though sources said their credentials “would fall short of the criteria.”

Race for post

“As per the HI’s eligibility criteria, a coach needs to have a Level 3 qualification. But the three Indian applicants don’t have that,” said an HI insider on condition of anonymity.

As per the international hockey federation (FIH) website, “To access this (Level 3) course, one needs to be the head coach or programme director of a hockey team, have a minimum of three years qualified coaching experience, hold a FIH Hockey Academy Level 2 coach certificate or equivalent.”

First Published: Mar 26, 2019 11:22 IST