Charlesworth blames SAI for quitting as technical advisor

August 4th, 2008 - 11:32 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 4 (IANS) Australian Ric Charlesworth, who resigned as the technical advisor to Indian hockey after a turbulent period, blamed the Sports Authority for India (SAI) for his quiting the job. Charlesworth minced no words in saying that it would be difficult for any foreign coach to work in India as long as the SAI continues to have a say in important matters.

“Over the last few weeks it has been clear that some (mostly un-named) figures do not see a role for me and clearly as long as SAI controls the resources for the sport without any flexibility, it would be difficult for me or any international coach to operate. Therefore, the outcome is not surprising and vindicates my resignation. As an advisor, there was nothing more I could do,” Charlesworth said in a statement.

“I have never been one who wished to waste my time with fruitless enterprises. I hoped that perhaps by making it clear that the time for advising was over, there may have been some enthusiasm for ensuring that I may have the opportunity to put in place my ideas practically by leading a renewed programme. It was the last chance to catalyse changes this year as most other international teams already have things in place for the rest of the year and most of 2009.”

Charlesworth said he faced a lot of difficulties in the first three months of his term in India as his contract details were not spelt out by the SAI.

“The first months were difficult with logistics proving convoluted and mischievous in the IHF. Notwithstanding this, I went on with the job; analysed the PHL, attended the women in camp in Lucknow, went to Oman for the women’s training camp, studied the men play against Belgium in Chennai and travelled with the men for their camp in Perth.”

Charlesworth also said that the accusation that he was asking for a huge sum was baseless.

“Contrary to accusations, my concern was about the programme structure and freedom to act, not about remuneration, although it should be said that agreed payments were long overdue.”

“I was asked by the ad hoc committee to coach the national men’s team but believed, as I still do two months later, that this could only be done successfully - like in other major hockey countries - with a range of things in place that have never been in place before in India.”

“Accordingly, I outlined a range of measures which I believed could be immediately set in place to initiate the programme. Unfortunately, these matters were all passed over and when I again saw the women’s team arrive in Rotterdam without a head coach, manager or video analyst it was clear that there was little will to proceed in my direction. My resignation was then promptly submitted as advisor to Indian hockey. It would not make sense and I did not wish to do the job without access to top class support and adequate resources,” said Charlesworth, who will adress the media here on his Indian experience Tuesday.

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