Hockey
‘Told everyone if Janneke stayed, women’s team won’t qualify for Paris’: HI secretary general

‘Told everyone if Janneke stayed, women’s team won’t qualify for Paris’: HI secretary general

The Indian women's team endured poor last few months under Janneke Schopman, where they couldn't qualify for Paris Olympics.

In close succession, right after the Indian women’s hockey team was hammered in the FIH Pro League, head coach Janneke Schopman and Hockey India CEO Elena Norman resigned from their positions. The duo cited the same reasons for leaving the country, ‘difficult working conditions’.

But in an interview with the Indian Express, HI’s secretary general Bholanth Singh refuted all such claims. In fact, he went on to claim, that he had warned everyone, that had Schopman stayed, India wouldn’t qualify for the Olympics.

“Yes, I had clearly told everyone that if she stays, India can never qualify for the Olympics. And I wasn’t saying this. Our selectors, too, were of this opinion,” Bholanath Singh said.

Opening up about the psychologist issue, the secretary general added, there there were no question of treating any team with bias.

No Bias by Hockey India, as Claimed by Janneke Schopman

He said, “The men’s team coach, Craig (Fulton), told me they wanted a psychologist. He selected the same psychologist who was in the team when (former cricket captain MS) Dhoni won the World Cup (in 2011). His per-day rate was high but we decided to go ahead because we didn’t want money to come in the way of performance.

“Janneke demanded a psychologist too. She gave the name of some psychologist, who charged the same rate as the men’s team psychologist. So I said this (women’s team) psychologist isn’t of the same level and asked her to revise her fees. When the issue was resolved, the psychologist was on board. It wasn’t an issue.

“It hasn’t ever happened – with men’s or women’s teams – that they say a word and we waste a second to get it done. We don’t interfere anywhere. The only thing we want is results.”

Search for Next Coach on

Bholanath also made it clear that the team is looking for the next coach for the women’s team and should be on board soon. Though he did not reveal the name of the candidate.

“You’ll have to wait and watch. But whatever will happen, it’ll be for the best. I can say the talks are at an advanced stage. Very soon everything will be done.”

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