World body warns India’s national hockey coach

April 3rd, 2008 - 8:43 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 3 (IANS) The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has warned India coach Joaquim Carvalho and his support staff of a possible ’sanction’ following their criticism of umpires after the team’s failure to qualify for Olympics in Santiago, Chile. The FIH Thursday said that non-adherence to the code of conduct might land the persons concerned in trouble as their utterances are under review.

“The level of abuse and criticism of umpires, which seems to be acceptable in India, is certainly not acceptable to the international body. It starts from the top of national federations, through dignitaries and team management downwards,” FIH official Bob Davidzon, who is also the Project Director of ‘Promoting Indian Hockey’, said in a statement.

After the Santiago debacle, the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) president K.P.S. Gill together with Carvalho and other support staff initiated a blame game to save their skin. They held the FIH and poor umpiring responsible for India’s defeat at the Olympic qualifiers in Chile. It was the first time in 80 years that India failed to qualify for the Olympics.

The coach even went one step further and lashed out at the tournament director for visiting the team hotel at midnight to reprimand Indian player Gurbaj Singh.

However, it did not go down well with Davidzon, who said that Carvalho first should know the rules and regulations of the event before blaming anyone, and by doing this he has violated the FIH Code of Conduct.

“The compulsory reading out of sentences to the players involved in an incident is entirely at the hands of the manager and the tournament director. The manager has to agree with the tournament director on the time and venue for the hearing. But it does not mean the incident has to take place in the middle of the night,” said Davidzon.

“The FIH Code of Conduct is clear that all participants in any tournament must not involve in a personal attack on another player, umpire, appointed official or administrator,” he added.

Davidzon particularly came hard on the national federation and said that the IHF should be held responsible for India’s unjustified umpiring criticism, which he thinks was due to lack of knowledge about the rules of the game.

“The knowledge of the rules and the tournament briefing for Indian team and its staff was well below par. That led to unjustified criticism.”

Davidzon also blamed India’s poor travel planning responsible for the less time the players got to acclimatise with the climatic conditions of Chile.

“Athletes deserve proper attention. Airlines should serve the players at their reasonable convenience and athletes should not be used to fill various cheaper flights. Proper and timely planning is a must,” he said.

He said that the Santiago debacle would serve as a lesson to the Indian women’s team ahead of their Olympic qualification campaign in Kazan, Russia, later this month.

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