I have been fired, says India’s men’s hockey coach Paul van Ass


Chief coach of the Indian men’s national hockey team, Paul van Ass, was on Monday sacked by Hockey India.

“I have been fired by Hockey India”, said the Dutchman to the media as he confirmed the news.

Barely five months into the job, uncertainty loomed large over Van Ass’ continuing as Indian men’s hockey team’s chief coach with current and former India players feeling that Dutchman’s absence could prove to be detrimental to their preparation for the 2016 Olympics.

Van Ass’s future with the Indian team was in serious doubt after he failed to report on time for the national team’s camp that negan at the scenic Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre in Shilaroo, Himachal Pradesh on Sunday.

The theory that the Dutchman won’t be continuing as the coach gathered further steam when he failed to submit his report on India’s performance at the recently concluded World Hockey League semi-finals in Antwerp, Belgium.

According to media reports, temperamental Van Ass had a public spat with Hockey India president Narinder Batra after the quarter-final match against Malaysia at the World League semifinals.

The reports said that after the match Batra entered the field of play and had a word with the players, at which Van Ass intervened and asked him to leave the field, which did not go down well with the HI president.

With Van Ass’s future in doubt, a senior member of the national team said at the end of the day it is the players who suffer the most in the frequent change of coaches.

“It (Change of coaches) definitely affects us. It affects our training, our performance, our preparation (for Rio Olympics). It takes time for players to build rapport with a coach. It takes time to understand and then adapt to a coach’s style. So, if the chief coach is changed frequently every other day it is bound to affect our performance,” a senior member of the national team said.