Janneke Schopman's Future As Indian Women's Hockey Head Coach Remains Doubtful

Janneke Schopman's Future As Indian Women's Hockey Head Coach Remains Doubtful

Janneke Schopman took over the reins of India women's team as head coach after Spaniard Sjoerd Marijne's departure just after the side's fourth-place finish at the Tokyo Olympics 2021.

PTIUpdated: Tuesday, February 20, 2024, 11:57 AM IST
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Janneke Schopman | Credits: Twitter

Indian women's hockey team chief coach Janneke Schopman's days are numbered as she is unlikely to get an extension after her contract expires in July this year for failing to produce results, including the side's failure to qualify for the Paris Olympics.

Schopman, who was the analytical coach in Indian women team's historic fourth-place finish in Tokyo Olympics, took over the reins of the national team after Spaniard Sjoerd Marijne's departure just after the quadrennial event.

"Her contract ends in July-August (Till Paris Olympics). Let us see what happens, I can't tell anything at this point of time," a HI source told PTI.

It is, however, learnt that Schopman is unlikely to get an extension.

The Dutch player-turned-coach's best result with the Indian team was the bronze medals that the side won at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games and the 2023 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.

But barring that feat, Schopman has nothing more to show as the Savita Punia-led side failed to win the gold at the Asian Games, which would have directly sealed its berth at the Paris Olympics.

India women failed to qualify for Paris Olympics

Schopman and her side had another chance to seal the Paris berth through the Olympic Qualifiers in Ranchi in January this year.

But there too they faltered, losing to Japan in the bronze medal play-off with three top teams from the tournament sealing their berths for the Paris Games.

In fact, Schopman's relationship with Hockey India secretary general Bholanath Singh soured after the Indian women failed to make the Paris cut through the Asian Games.

It became bad to worse after her recent outburst in the media following India's last FIH Pro League game at home against USA, where she claimed that she didn't get the value and respect from some quarters of the national federation during her tenure here.

Schopman, an Olympic gold medallist, also claimed that she felt "alone a lot in the last two years", and was critical of the differential treatment meted out to the women's team compared to the men's side.

Hockey India denies Schopman's allegations

Hockey India, however, completely denied the allegations, stating that she was provided everything that she wanted.

"I don't know why she is saying these things. There is no discrimination in Hockey India. We treat both the men and women teams equally," the HI source said.

"Neither Hockey India not SAI (Sports Authority of India) has treated her badly. We have always given due respect and recognition to her." According to sources, Schopman, 46, wants higher salary at par with the men's team chief coach Craig Fulton and this was precisely the reason behind her recent rant.

"To demand higher salary what matters is results. She has done well with the girls but recent results are not in her favour," the source said.

Schopman's next assignment with the Indian women's team is the European leg of the FIH Pro League in May.

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