New Delhi : The Indian men’s hockey team’s medal-less and rudder-less Commonwealth Games performance has brought chief coach Sjoerd Marijne under the scanner with Hockey India scheduling a performance review meeting later this week.
It has been learnt that some senior players of the team, led by skipper Manpreet Singh, PR Sreejesh and Rupinder Pal Singh, met top HI officials here on Tuesday and presented their explanation for the performance.
It is for the first time in 12 years (since 2006) that India failed to win a single medal in hockey at the CWG and this hasn’t gone down well with the national federation, which said that it won’t shy away from taking tough decisions after the review meeting.
According to a Hockey India official, not just the players, the coach’s performance will also be scrutinised and corrective measures will be taken, if needed, as three important tournaments — Champions Trophy, Asian Games and the season-ending World Cup — are lined up this year.
“The performance in Gold Coast is definitely not acceptable. It is below-par to say the least. We have been providing all facilities to the team but they just fail to deliver in big events,” the HI official said.
“We were one of the medal favourites but look how we performed against lower-ranked teams like Wales, Pakistan, New Zealand and England.”
India were particularly poor in the 2-2 draw against Pakistan, conceding the equaliser with just seven seconds left on the clock.
It has been earlier reported that some senior players were unhappy with Marijne’s decision to blood youngsters like Vivek Sagar Prasad, Dilpreet Singh, Sumit, Gurinder Singh in place of experienced pros such as Sardar Singh and Ramandeep Singh in the CWG-bound squad.
And the HI official said all these issues will be examined during the review meeting.
“Hockey is a team game and the coach is also accountable for players’ performances. It will be too early to comment anything but Sjoerd too will have to come up with answers for the poor show.” In the past too, HI’s hire and fire policy on foreign coaches, including Marijne’s predecessors Roelant Oltmans, Terry Walsh, Michael Nobbs and Ric Charlesworth has come in for sharp criticism.
Even though Marijne’s draws his salary from the Sports Authority of India, it is HI which reviews his performance .
Marijne is presently at his home in Netherlands and is expected to join the national camp in Bengaluru from April 27. But sources said he would arrive in India only in the first week of May due to some visa issues.