FPJ Exclusive: Long-Serving Hockey India CEO Elena Norman Resigned Due To ‘Salary Issues, 2 Factions’ In Federation

FPJ Exclusive: Long-Serving Hockey India CEO Elena Norman Resigned Due To ‘Salary Issues, 2 Factions’ In Federation

In an exclusive interview with FPJ, Hockey India's long-serving CEO Elena Norman opens up on her resignation.

Joe WilliamsUpdated: Tuesday, February 27, 2024, 05:36 PM IST
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Elena Norman. | (Image Credits: Twitter)

Hockey India (HI) witnessed a significant development as its CEO of nearly 13 years, Elena Norman, tendered her resignation due to unpaid dues spanning several months. Norman's departure comes amidst a backdrop of financial discord within the national federation, with sources citing her dissatisfaction with three months' worth of outstanding payments.

"I submitted my resignation last night," confirmed Elena Norman in an interview with Free Press Journal. However, she declined to comment further, expressing respect for Dilip Tirkey, President of Hockey India.

Norman's decision to step down mirrors recent unrest within the organisation, coinciding with complaints from Indian women's hockey team chief coach, Janneke Schopman, about feeling undervalued and disrespected.

"There are two factions in Hockey India" - Elena Norman

"There were some issues (regarding salary) and after much persuasion, that got cleared last week," Elena said after HI issued a statement announcing her exit without specifying any reasons.

"There are two factions in Hockey India. There is a (President) Dilip Tirkey and I and there is (Secretary) Bholanath Singh, (Executive Director) Cdr. R K Srivastava and (Treasurer) Sekar J Manoharan," she said.

While the official statement from Hockey India did not cite a specific reason for Norman's resignation, reliable sources attribute it to her grievances over unpaid dues and a challenging work environment.

During her tenure as CEO, Norman spearheaded efforts to elevate women's hockey, ensuring parity in facilities and opportunities alongside the men's team.

Her visionary leadership led to the institution of cash awards, recognizing outstanding performances by female athletes through the prestigious Hockey India Annual Awards. Acknowledging Norman's significant contributions, Dilip Tirkey praised her role in advancing Indian hockey on both national and international fronts.

Men and women's hockey team soar under Elena Norman:

Under her stewardship, both the men's and women's teams achieved their highest-ever world rankings, with the men clinching a historic bronze at the Tokyo Olympics after a 41-year medal drought and the women securing a commendable fourth-place finish.

Norman's tenure coincided with notable achievements in hosting prestigious international tournaments, including the FIH Men's World Cup and various editions of the Hockey India League (HIL). Additionally, her efforts were pivotal in the women's team's historic qualification for the 2016 Rio Olympics, ending a 36-year absence from the Games.

Norman's departure marks a significant transition for Hockey India, prompting reflection on her impactful legacy and the challenges ahead for the organisation. (Inputs from PTI)

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