Indian hockey needs professional approach: Charlesworth

August 5th, 2008 - 10:17 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 5 (IANS) Australian Ric Charlesworth, whose tenure as technical advisor to hockey ended in a controversial manner, says the sport in India lacks professional approach. Training his gun at the Sports Authority of India (SAI), Charlesworth, who resigned from his post last month, said India can only relive hockey’s glorious past by changing the present bureaucratic set-up and bringing professionals to run the game.

“A professional structure should be in place. That’s the best way to improve the game,” Charlesworth told reporters here.

Charlesworth said the increasing interference of bureaucrats is a worrying factor for Indian sport.

“Priorities in training programme should be decided by the coach and not by some bureaucrats. I gave a comprehensive programme to then IHF president KPS Gill. Implementing that would have helped India rise by one spot in the world rankings every year, but unfortunately he never took it seriously.”

“One good thing is that Indian media is interested in hockey and transparency to the media is very essential,” he said.

Much of Charlesworth’s ire was directed towards the SAI.

“SAI never wanted me to get associated with Indian hockey otherwise it would not have kept on deferring the contract,” said a disappointed Charlesworth.

“It’s mischievous because there were some people who did not want my association with Indian hockey. I started to work in India from December but signed my contract only in March after the Chile debacle,” he noted.

“SAI kept on deferring the date. Had Chile debacle not happened, the contract signing wouldn’t have materialised and I would have left earlier,” he said.

He also claimed his arrears are still to be cleared by the SAI.

“I signed the contract in March only on the condition that all my arrears would be paid, but they paid only an amount in June. They still owe me a lot of money but neither they are answering my mails nor taking calls.”

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