IOA officials say they have had enough of Charlesworth

July 13th, 2008 - 7:36 pm ICT by IANS  

By Avishek Roy
Hyderabad, July 13 (IANS) Though the International Hockey Federation (FIH) may push hard for Ric Charlesworth’s continuance in some capacity in India, the ad-hoc committee of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has made up its mind not to retain the controversial Australian. It is now clear that Charlesworth does not fit into the scheme of things of the Suresh Kalmadi-headed ad hoc panel which is ready with a charge-sheet against him along with an action plan for discussion with FIH chief Els van Breda Vriesman here July 17.

Charlesworth, who was thrust upon the K.P.S. Gill regime as technical adviser for Indian hockey as part of FIH project Promoting Indian Hockey, put in his papers before flying out of Hyderabad on the eve of the junior Asia Cup now on here.

What has irked the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) more is his long wish list and an equally long list of imaginary, unsubstantiated grievances he has sent to it and then freely e-mailed to the media.

A senior IOA official told IANS that the ad hoc committee has had enough of Charlesworth and the FIH chief has already been informed that the Australian need no longer waste his time here.

The IOA’s stand is that it can look after Indian hockey better without these so-called advisers and that it is also not interested in getting another foreign coach after Charleworth packs up.

“We have spoken to FIH chief and told her about Charlesworth’s ways of functioning and the problems the ad hoc panel faces working with him. We will discuss all the issue with FIH chief when she is here, but there is no question of keeping Charleworth in India. Things have come to such a pass that neither can work with the other and hopefully FIH appreciates our stand,” said an highly influential IOA source and ad-hoc committee member refusing to be named.

“We know the requirements of Indian hockey and if need be we can find a foreign coach ourselves,” he said.

IOA will also tell the world body that Charlesworth’s long wishlist in his resignation letter and his repeated interaction with the media is part of his “pressure tactics” to get whatever he wants.

“We did offer him the coach’s job and FIH knows that. He refused it because he wanted a bigger say in the Indian hockey affairs, whatever that may mean because he is not clear what exactly he wants,” the official said.

IOA is also confident that the Charlesworth issue will not have any bearing on India hosting the 2010 World Cup. FIH had provisionally allotted the tournament to India and threatened to take it back in the wake of the bribery scandal involving the then IHF secretary-general Kandaswamy Jothikumaran.

IOA’s confidence stems from the fact that it has acted swiftly after the bribery scandal by superseding the Indian Hockey Federation and the immediate offshoot was that the India team finished runners-up at the Azlan Shan Cup tournament.

“We were runners-up in a prestigious tournament like Azlan Shah. The Junior Asia Cup is being organised so smoothly. Things are moving smoothly and there is no reason for FIH to deny us the World Cup as even the infrastructure will be ready as Delhi also hosts the 2010 Commonwealth Games,” the official said.

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