Just when it looked Indian hockey was getting back up on its legs, another setback hit the game’s establishment in the country with head coach of the men’s team resigning citing ‘sporting bureaucracy’ as the reason for calling it quits.
Walsh’s decision came at a time when he had coached the team to Asian Games gold after a hiatus of 16 years, which also earned the team a direct entry to the 2016 Rio Olympics.
“I hereby tender my resignation as the chief coach of the Indian men’s hockey team as I am finding considerable difficulty adjusting to the decision-making style of the sporting bureaucracy in India which, I believe, in the long term, is not in the best interests of Indian hockey or its players,” Walsh said in his resignation to Sports Authority of India (SAI) director general Jiji Thomson.
Sources, however, have also revealed that Walsh and some of the foreign support staff had also expressed some displeasure over the tax deducted form his salary.
It was surprising to see Walsh also citing constant travel as one of the reasons behind his decision to quit.
“In addition to my difficulties with not being able to professionally operate within these bureaucratic confines, I am not willing to continue with the constant time away from my family in Australia. My current commitment places too much stress on my personal life.
“May I thank you for the honour and opportunity to have worked with an Indian National Program for the last twelve months. I wish the Sports Authority of India every success as it builds into and beyond the 2016 Olympic Games,” he said.
However, Hockey India President Narinder Batra said Walsh was also unhappy with his contract with SAI.
“Besides other issues he [Walsh] has issues with his contract with SAI, which now after his resignation expires on 19.11.2014. We suggest if SAI can have a re-look at his contract before 19.11.2014 so that he may continue till Olympic 2016. We suggest for a meeting between SAI and Mr Walsh,” Batra said.